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The Barron Blog
Friday, 20 July 2007
David Miller And Dalton McGuinty Do Some Gambling

One of the big issues in the election will be Toronto and its 550 million dollars debt. Mayor David Miller has commented that the province should do something about downloaded social services like welfare benefits, public health, long-term care for the elderly, and social housing. At one time the province used to help out on these programs, but now most of the financial burden is borne by the city.

There's also been a steady decline in tourism from the U.S. because of the high Canadian dollar.

Although I live in Brampton, a city just north and west of Toronto, I sympathize with major Miller's plight. I sent the letter below to Ontario Premier, Dalton McGuinty on these issues:

"As you know, the new taxes for Toronto have been deferred until after the provincial election. Whether MPPs like it or not, this has become a major issue in this election.

The basic issue is provincial "downloading" and who pays for what. Obviously, a new formula is needed between all governments on this matter, but a patch is needed for Toronto, right now.

I believe that the pain has to be spread around to everyone until the Federal Government includes municipalities in its transfer payments.

The least painful way to raise money is with a new entertainment/casino complex at Woodbine. This will help tourism in Toronto.

In respect to Casino Rama and Niagara casinos, it should run only six months of the year during the summer months.

There are other methods to raise money that Toronto should look at like "a toll on roads for residential cars coming to and parking in Toronto" similar to London England's solution.

Municipal services like pools should be fee based except for the very poor.

An anti-poverty strategy and budget should be adopted by every level of government. This is everybody's concern including charities like the United Way, however, a program must be laid out by the Provincial Government on the fair way to deal with this issue that crosses all jurisdictions.

Until this is handled, property taxes must be raised moderately. Perhaps, up to the 3% level. The other taxes like "Land Transfer Taxes" could be imposed moderately so that it doesn't hurt that much.

Provincial politicians shouldn't run from the financial woes of Toronto or some other municipality.

I look forward to how you and your Government will handle this difficult issue."


Posted by qualteam at 10:56 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 22 July 2007 6:47 PM EDT
Thursday, 19 July 2007
My Top Two For Canadian Idol 2007

I believe the two Idol contestants in the finale will be Jaydee Bixby and Martha Joy.

Jaydee is a throwback to the rock and roll idols of the 50s like Elvis Presley, Bobby Darin and Jerry Lee Lewis. The highest compliment you could give an artist these days is that he looks and sounds like an original from the 1950s.

Jaydee has the voice and the looks, but he doesn't have the moves yet. But do we really want another Taylor Hicks?

There is an outside chance that Jaydee is the reincarnation of Elvis. He definitely has that "ah shucks, I'm just country boy" appeal about him.

Martha Joy has the looks, voice and the uncanny nack of chosing the right song that suits her performing style.

There are other good performers in this group, but the two above are the most memorable so far. Who do you like?

Conway Twitty (not Bobby Darin) wrote and sang "It's Only Make Believe". He later went on to stardom as a country singer.

Follow That Dream/Elvis Presley

P.S. I'd like to thank all the visitors to my blog, especially, those from Facebook. A record 40 unique hits were recorded on my hit counter yesterday. I usually get only 7 to 8 visitors a day.

Posted by qualteam at 10:52 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 19 July 2007 11:27 AM EDT
Wednesday, 18 July 2007
Conspiracies, Mysteries And Dark Secrets Concerning Deathly Hallows

The most basic one is who dies and who doesn't? This is like killing off  characters in a TV series. So what? Everyone dies sometime. I can't see this as being the real big mystery in the Harry Potter series.

Do you remember when Darth Vader revealed that he was Luke's father in Star War's "The Empire Strikes Back"? This was a dark secret that caught me by surprise and put great drama into the story.

Now if some shadow group like MI5, Christian Fundamentalists or the Illuminati was behind Hogwarts and/or Voldemort, I would find that very interesting. That would be the conspiracy factor at work in the plot.

As for a dark secret about Harry, he might have an evil personality that has been freed from a Horcrux and he has to destroy this personality even if it means killing himself.

It remains to be seen how far into darkness J.K.Rowlings has pushed these stories. I don't see it being pushed farther than it is now.

The Leaky Cauldron And Harry Potter Fanatics

Another Secret About Harry Potter

Posted by qualteam at 10:01 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 18 July 2007 12:58 PM EDT
Tuesday, 17 July 2007
Happy Birthday Irene
Mood:  celebratory

Today's the birthday of my wife, Irene Barron.

Probably, the best present she received today was a visit of her friend from Germany, Irene Dummel. When they first met at Zellers 17 years ago, they were both going through difficult divorces. A little while later, I came into Irene's life and Irene Dummel met a good man in Germany where she presently lives. Occasionally, she visits her three sons and grandchildren in the GTA. 

Recently, Irene Dummel lost both her mother and husband. It was great to cheer her up and to share some good memories with her.

Despite the fact it was my wife's birthday, she bought Irene some flowers and took us both to dinner. She always thinks of others even on her special occasions. That's one of the things that I love about her.

More On The Barron Family


Posted by qualteam at 11:02 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 18 July 2007 9:07 AM EDT
Monday, 16 July 2007
Who's Behind Lord Voldemort?


If I was writing the finally chapter of Harry Potter, I would have a religious group who is using Lord Voldemort for their own ends in order to deliver Harry Potter to them. For this, they are willing to give Voldemort eternal life. This is a conspiracy of a large order to rid the world of Harry Potter before he gives magical powers to the muggles. This secret is leaked out while in combat with Voldemort who's a racist.

Of course, Harry is quilty of "The Prime Directive For Magicians". Never reveal your secrets to anyone who is unmagical.

The contests with Voldemort was to sharpen his magical skills and to reveal his true intentions. He has failed and is executed with a full memory shutdown, but his friends perserve his memory in a Horcrux.

This is the way, I'd like to see it end with some big twists and turns in the plot, but, probably, J.K. Rawling won't kill off Harry. With mind numbing continuity, Voldemort will continue to be the last of the Nazi magicians and he will be killed off.

What's a Horcrux?

Who's Voldemort?



Posted by qualteam at 11:24 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, 16 July 2007 11:58 PM EDT
Sunday, 15 July 2007
What's Going To Happen To Harry Potter?

In the past, witchcraft and wizardry had its enemies mostly in the Christian religion. The reasons for this could have been misunderstandings, jealousies, turf wars, etc. With great power comes great responsibility and the wizards of long ago didn't have it at the time. 

Someone like Harry Potter and his "Order of the Phoenix" could eventually defeat  roque wizards like Lord Voldemort and his "Death-Eaters", but wait a minute, wasn't there another adversary that resembled an inquisitor of old, headmistress, Ms Umbridge? Would Hogwarts be taken over by Christian Fundamentalists as was the case in an earlier witchcraft/wizard school?

What happened to the wizards in this school? They were tried and found guilty of blasphemy, heresy and witchcraft. They were not only executed, but the memories of being a wizard/witch were purged from their minds except for J.R. Rawlings who now writes about her life as a wizard.

Sometimes one's biggest enemies aren't obvious because deception can play a large role in the machinations of evil.

The World Of Muggles

Wizards Of Old

Posted by qualteam at 10:49 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 15 July 2007 11:46 PM EDT
Friday, 13 July 2007
The End Of Hogwarts, The End Of Wizardry

This is a very emotional moment sitting down and writing this blog entry on the end of wizardry. Like many others out there. I believe that wizardry actually existed in the past, but it was terminated by the misuse of certain practitioners,  J.K. Rawlings was one of them.

I know that I was there too. It was and still is a very difficult subject to write about. It happened about a 1000 years ago in Britain during Merlin's time. There were clashes with Christian authorities and other magicians over these mystical arts and how they should be used.

In "The Order Of The Phoenix", this surfaces from the new headmistress, Ms Umbridge.

"Publicly villified, Harry becomes a symbol of everything that is presumed wrong with Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and Ms. Umbridge is assigned to "calm things down."

Her methods include torture and various proclamations banning the use of magic, of assembly and of uttering "lies."

"If you use your powers foolishly, you will lose them". Basically, it was violation of this rule that caused the young wizards at Hogwarts to lose their powers.

Movie Review: The Order Of The Phoenix 

The Sorcerer's Apprentice From The Disney Movie Fantasia


Posted by qualteam at 10:49 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 13 July 2007 3:02 PM EDT
Thursday, 12 July 2007
Memories Of Ed Mirvish: 1914 - 2007

Most people remember Ed Mirvish for his generosity like giving out turkeys and fruitcake to poor people at Christmas time, but he also gave out money to  indigent men who hung around his work place, North America's first big box discount store, "Honest Ed's".

While he's also remembered for bringing big theartical hits to "The Royal Alex" and "The Princess Of Wales" theatres, he established the "Poor Alex" for starving actors and writers to perform their new plays.

I saw many plays and musicals at the Royal Alex, "Romeo and Juliet", "The Pirates of Penzance" and "Mamma Mia" to name a few. When I first came to Toronto, I also shopped at "Honest Ed's". Who didn't?

I liked his quotes and his approach to business the most. Here's some of Ed's sayings:

  1. Never give credit. My father gave credit and he died broke.
  2. How cheap can a guy get? Come it and find out.
  3. Our building is a dump. Our service is rotten, but our prices are the lowest in town.
  4. Don't just stand there. Buy something.
  5. How I would like to be remembered? I would like to erect a huge throne in the centre of Honest Ed's. I would then like my body cremated and the ashes put in an hourglass. I would then like someone sitting on the throne to keep turning the hourglass up and down, up and down, the employees would point to it and say, "There's Ed. He's still running."

Please note, that when SARS came to Toronto a few years back and scared visitors away, Ed and his son, David put together a tourist's discount package that included, hotel, dinner and a musical. 

Thanks for making Toronto your home, Ed. We'll miss you.

More On Ed Mirvish


Posted by qualteam at 10:40 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 12 July 2007 10:45 PM EDT
Monday, 9 July 2007
Top Ten News Headlines Over The Last 50,000 Years

  1. God creates man in his own image. Denies that he's only looking for an obedient pet. Claims he has a secret purpose for this creation that only his Son knows.
  2. Baron Von Snakestein creates a man out of a monkey's DNA and claims that his product is better than God's. "Modified evolution is superior to intelligent design any day."
  3. Ugh Cannibal creates fire because he was tired of having his friends for dinner raw.
  4. Dork Metalhead invents the wheel with a pole through it in order to create the first "exotic dance".
  5. The first hieroglyphics appear on outhouse walls as a way of meeting hot dates.
  6. Christ resurrects from the dead in 33 AD. Critics claim he used high tech smoke and mirrors/heliographs to pull off this magical stunt.
  7. Gutenberg invents the printing press because no one wanted to rewrite his epic novel.
  8. Edison invents the light blub, the phonograph and the motion picture projector because 19th century life bored him to tears.
  9. Jack Kilby invents the computer chip because he kept forgetting  where he put his stuff.
  10. Tim Berners-Lee creates the World Wide Web in the 1990s so the internet can be an equal playing field for everybody including retards.

Who Is Tim Berners-Lee?

Who Is Jack Kilby?

Posted by qualteam at 9:40 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, 9 July 2007 10:04 PM EDT
Saturday, 7 July 2007
Upping The Ante On "The Corporate Team Incentive"

As you know, the Corporate Team Incentive is Canada Post's bonus program that CUPW reluctantly accepted.

While I may be a sentient child of the universe, I'm still a postie with a large mortgage. My wife and I need extra money if we're both going to retire comfortably.

Lets face facts, the overtime at TEO has been cut back substantially and my wife is working at a job that pays a lot less than the last one.

We're not in a position where we can coast to retirement and smell the roses.  I believe the Corporate Team Incentive has to improve in order for it to pay well. I sent these suggestions to CPC president, Moya Green, to put more punch into Canada Post's bonus program.

"In order to increase individual participation in the CTI bonus system. Basically, this program should involve the following:
1. Section and Facility competition on CTI targets on a weekly, monthly and quarterly basis.

2. Exchange Offices, Special Products, Pubs and Ads etc. would be in competition to win against other  similiar sections throughout Canada in "The CTI Top Post Office Facility Game."

3. Prizes would be given to the number one team in each area of the competition on a weekly, monthly and quarterly basis.
The ultimate prize would be a CTI percentage that shoots out the roof.

4. Prizes could desirable things like restaurant coupons, tickets to sporting events, and discount coupons at Future Shop, etc.
A cup and a banquet could given to the best sections and facilities of the year. 

5. Prizes could be given for perfect individual attendance in a year as well. These would be given out at the same banquet, of course.

In the eighties, I belonged to an organization that had a game/competition going that involved all of its offices around the planet. Productivity and statistics were raised to new heights during that time. It was lots of fun to participate in and to contribute with highter stats of one's own.
Being "number one" is like winning the Stanley Cup. One has bragging rights for the year.
As former Green Bay packer coach, Vince Lombardi one said: "Winning isn't everything. It's the only thing."

I don't have enough money to gamble properly and my writing career hasn't taken off yet. I'm just playing this hand for the most I can get out of it.

More Stuff On The Corporate Team Incentive Program

My CUPW Info Page


Posted by qualteam at 11:40 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 10 July 2007 10:43 PM EDT

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