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Saturday, 3 March 2007
The Mythology Of Rock And Roll
Mood:  on fire

My two favourite rock and roll movies of all time are "Phantom Of The Paradise" and "The Rocky Horror Picture Show". In the "Phantom", there's a supernatural link to rock and roll and in "The Rocky Horror", there's an alien link.

It's like this music was a deep dark evil secret until some powerful force unleashed it on planet Earth.

Rock often tracks the romantic and sexual problems of teenagers. The positive and negative feelings of youth seem to become exaggerated in the present of this high energy music.

Rock and roll didn't start in the fifties. It started in our subconscious and stimulated not only memories of our happy childhoods, but memories of death and destruction (e.g. Heavy metal bands, punk, etc.).

I've written a great deal about "Rock and Roll" and it's beginning on another planet called "Graceworld". 

The Phantom Of The Paradise Video

The Rocky Horror Show Video

The Phantom Of The Paradise Reviewed

The Rocky Horror Picture Show Reviewed

More On Graceworld

Posted by qualteam at 11:19 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, 3 March 2007 11:34 PM EST
Friday, 2 March 2007
March Comes In Like A Lion

Yesterday, Brampton and the surrounding area were hit with a storm that produced scenes like the above. Over 60,000 residences in Ontario are without power because of it and many streets look like duck ponds.

Because we have only one car in our family, I took the bus home at 3:30 P.M. yesterday from the Post Office in Mississauga. I got home at 9:30 P.M. with my socks and shoes soaked.

Fortunately, these storms don't happen very often in the winter. Barrie, north of us and Buffalo south of us get much more snow.

In Newfoundland, it's common to have storms that drop 100 cm on a regular basis during the winter.

I'm glad we live in the Greater Toronto Area where we get changing weather every few days, but no hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes or tsunamis.

Lion And Lamb Weather

Posted by qualteam at 11:11 PM EST
Wednesday, 28 February 2007
Movie Review 112: The Departed

The Departed is Martin Scorsese at his self-indulgent best. The acting and the story was good, but the pacing and the scenes were drawn out too long. So much time was spent on character development and relationships, that the story slowed down and became difficult to follow.

The film could have been used at least 45 minutes of editing to speed it up.

This was Leonardo DiCaprio's best role yet and Jack Nicholson was great as the bad guy.

The ending was weak, unsatisfying and contrived. With me, this movie only rates two and half stars.

More Reviews Of "The Departed"

Posted by qualteam at 10:21 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 28 February 2007 10:26 PM EST
Tuesday, 27 February 2007
What Wrong With CUPW?
Over the last 13 years, I've seen local presidents and locals throw their hands up
in the air on the National Executive Board's "Tentative Agreements". Locals appeared like they were being excluded from negotiations and agreements were being made without consultation of local executives. This has been going on for a long time and many National Conventions have come and gone without this problem being addressed.
There seems to be two unions. One at the national level going one way and one at the local level going another. This is discord. This is lack of unity. This is weakness.
These directional differences have been going on a long time. You can't have two different  unions negotiating with Canada Post. Surely, at National Conventions, ways could have been suggested to clear up local discord before anything becomes a "tentative deal".
We all know in any negotiating round, the union can only make so many gains before the big hammer of Government gets activated.
Usually negotiations go down to the eleventh hour before a deal is reached.
However, the fact still remains that the negotiating committee decides if more can be achieved from further negotiating and/or a strike.
If the local unions are in communication with the NEB, they can see progress or not. However, I can't see how they're participating or how local CUPW members are participating. Is there anyway to give feedback or do a poll on an issue?? No, it doesn't happen in CUPW.
There's no way the locals can fire the present negotiating committee and get another one.
I don't remember any tentative agreement being turned down.
If the National President tells CUPW members that's all they can get from Canada Post, how can we not believe her? From many years of experience, CPC doesn't negotiated further at a certain point and waits until a government arbitrator decides what's in the new contract and what isn't.
Again, this is a failure to solve these problems in the CUPW constitution and the negotiation process. The NEB has complete control to accept "tentative agreements" without the approval of a majority of locals.
Next, there's the divided vote from the membership, some agreeing with some locals that we can get more out of further negotiations and/or a strike and some agreeing with the NEB that we can't.
If CUPW is now fighting amongst itself about what can be achieved and what can't,
it's in a weakened state and I wouldn't send conflicted negotiators back to the negotiating table.
We can't really get good deals with CPC or Government arbitration if we're battling with each other. Conflicts must be resolved before a tentative agreement is reached.
I've waited 13 years for the NEB and locals to resolve these negotiating/solidarity problems. Nothing has changed. The struggle continues between CUPW members.

Posted by qualteam at 12:12 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 27 February 2007 12:16 PM EST
Sunday, 25 February 2007
What Is Blogging About?

Today, while reading the Toronto Star, I came upon this moving article: "At 93, Donald Crowdis is not only writing about his approaching demise, he's doing it on a blog at and attracting young fans in the process.

When I reached the point where Don was facing his own death and protesting his lack of time, tears flooded my eyes. This is something that I might be writing about in my blog 40 years from now.  "There are numerous notes and letters I must write," he wrote in the post entitled, "It Bothers Me That I Have To Go."

One of the 250 comments on this blog entry was equally as moving: "I am, quite literally half your age, but your post today reminds that I should not take my time on Earth for granted, that I should make it a point to do the things I want to do."

Don handwrites his entries and gives it to a relative to post on his blog. He remembers things like the Halifax Explosion in 1917 which killed 2000 people.

Don's real life drama and experiences beats the Oscar experience any day.

Donald Crowdis's Blog  

Tuesday With Morrie

Posted by qualteam at 10:49 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, 25 February 2007 10:57 AM EST
Friday, 23 February 2007
I Won't Miss The Toronto CUPW Local When I Retire

The Toronto Local has a reputation for fighting amongst itself. This infighting has poisioned some former executives from continued participation in the union.

It should also be noted that the Toronto Local hasn't agreed with any negotiated settlement from the CUPW National Executive Board over the last 13 years.

Back in 2003, former local president, Steve Killey launched a campaign against the tentative agreement and the National Exective. While there was some support for his views and weaknesses in the tentative agreement at the time, he was not able to marshal support against the agreement outside of Toronto, Sudbury and St. John's Newfoundland. The agreement was carried by a fairly large margin of 62%. Later on, Killey failed to unseat Deborah Bourque as National President or hold onto his local president's job in Toronto. He was defeated by Jane Marsh.

Again, the Toronto Local is fighting over the NEB's "2007 Tentative Agreement". This appears to be a strictly negative action, because the Toronto Local hasn't come up with any alternate prosposal which could be widely accepted by other CUPW locals.

The Toronto Local had an opportunity to get more local participation into the "Collective Bargaining Process" at the last National CUPW convention, but it failed there as well.

Again, the Toronto Local is content to go it alone and fight against anyone who opposes its viewpoint. 

Luckily, I won't have to put up with these endless confrontations, very long.


Posted by qualteam at 1:20 PM EST
Updated: Friday, 23 February 2007 2:45 PM EST
Thursday, 22 February 2007
A Letter From A Senior Canada Post Official On The CTI Project
Mood:  sharp

Over the last couple of months, I've tried to find out as much about Canada Post's "Corporate Team Incentive" as I could. I asked supervisors about it. I've studied CUPW/CPC bulletins on the issue and I've contacted senior postal officials on the subject.

A major concern, I had about the CTI program was that it could be changed at the whim of management and postal employees wouldn't get much from their dedicated efforts.
The official wrote back about different aspects of the CTI, but the point that captured my attention the most was on "CTI Targets": "Targets have to be reasonably achievable or the whole purpose of a bonus becomes meaningless."
Obviously, this program is more than a public relation gesture to get posties engaged in the postal business. It appears to be a sincere effort to create better work productivity and increase and/or maintain profits which would then be distributed to all employess and not just supervisors and managers.
The important point of "targets being reasonably achievable" is in writing and Canada Post is accountable to all CUPW members on this matter.

Posted by qualteam at 3:32 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, 22 February 2007 3:43 PM EST
Wednesday, 21 February 2007
An Open Letter To All CUPW Members
Mood:  energetic
Finally, I can see progress being made in CUPW/Canada Post negotiations. I've fought hard and long promoting the acceptance of the CTI bonus system.
For the last couple of months, I've averaged 15 unique visitors on my blog at www.barronblog.comHalf of them have been searching for CUPW/CPC negotiations.
The CUPW National Executive Board has grudging accepted the CTI simply as a way to hold the benefits already made. The Toronto Local is campaigning against the "Tentative Agreement" and many posties are on the fence with a wait and see attitude.
Personally, I've always believed in profit sharing and the only consideration that I have is that it should be fair and equally distributed.
I'd like to see CUPW and management participate in an agreement on the standards and emphasis of the CTI program. The greater the engagement from the top down,  the better the productivity and bonuses.
Working hard and working smart should be promoted by all.
Right now, the CTI program is like an afterthought for the NEB. Look at their view on this issue:  
There's also blatant negative opposition to overcome from "Bog/Marshland"(i.e. The Toronto Local)
Meeting scanning and delivery targets should be the backbone of the CTI system: "Canada Post Delivers, No Matter What The Weather Or The Obstacle".

Posted by qualteam at 10:50 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 21 February 2007 10:54 PM EST
Monday, 19 February 2007
I'm Going To Vote "Yes" To The Tentative Agreement Between CUPW And Canada Post
Mood:  a-ok

Within this blog, there are many entries on CUPW/CPC negotiations.

I have supported "The Corporate Team Incentive"(i.e. CTI bonus system) from the start. If you want to check out my rationale and arguments on this issue, please go through my blog entries of the last three months. 

Here's a brief summary of my reasons for voting "yes" to the proposed contract:

  1. Very soon air mail products from and to Canada Post will have to be scanned and delivered on time in order to receive payment. It helps if employees are on board with this operation in order to process air mail parcels quickly. If employees(i.e. CUPW members), get a bonus for meeting delivery targets, it's highly likely that profits will continue to go up and we'll get part of this "Corporate Team Incentive Bonus" that only management gets now. If the incentive isn't there, delivery targets could be missed which could cost Canada Post millions or even hundreds of millions of dollars. There would be pressure to cut back on our benefits, wages and full time jobs. Sections of the Post Office could be privatized which would result in job losses and a worse work environment. With job security, high wages are not an incentive for posties to work hard or even work at all. You get paid just for showing up. How is management suppose to meet its delivery targets when many posties only care about their pay checks and nothing else? 

  2. The Corporate Team Incentive has been around for a long time. Three other unions have accepted it already. I discussed the CTI bonus system with some APOC members and they were quite satisfied with it.

  3. The wage increase is practically the same as PSAC and APOC wage  increases. However, the 2.75% in the last two years of the proposed agreement look better than 2.5% for four years.
  4. Whether we like it or not, the CTI program has been in place for some time and management has profited from it while CUPW members haven't.
  5. Arguments against the CTI bonus system would be probably look ridiculous in the press or on the floor of parliament.
  6. The recent wage increase in the U.S. postal service was about 1.6% over four years.
  7. It appears the National Executive Board of CUPW has been weakened by lack of support from some local unions. The odds of achieving more in collective bargaining at this point are slim and none.
  8. I believe that management and CUPW executives will try to make the CTI bonus system work well over the next few years to win the hearts and minds of non-believing posties.

Be Willing To Negotiate Anything

CUPW Toronto Local

Posted by qualteam at 10:38 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 20 February 2007 5:41 PM EST
Saturday, 17 February 2007
Good News In The World Of Blogs And Webpages

As of yesterday, Tripod is now giving one gigabyte of web space to all their customers who are on "The Tripod Plus Program". Previously, the limit was 25 megs of space.

I'd reached 23.5 megs and I was restraining myself from putting more pictures, songs and videos on my blog or webpages.

The "Tripod Sitebuilder" is a great webpage creator. You can put just about anything on a website without a lot of html or creative design know- how.

The new webpages relating to my top ten lists and my new-age religious visions will be going up very soon.

Somebody must have prayed for me to have a bigger website, because I didn't do it myself.


The Angel At Hotel California


Posted by qualteam at 9:26 PM EST

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