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Tuesday, 25 December 2007
Merry Christmas From Our House To Your House

Christmas is a joyous occasion celebrated in different countries in different ways.

I have my own personal view about this timeless holiday and its myths and symbols.

Here's a Newfoundland song that communicates our feelings for our visitors at this time of the year:

Merry Christmas From Our House To Yours House


Posted by qualteam at 10:05 PM EST
Monday, 24 December 2007
Christmas Wishes For A Better World

1. Coal plants on Earth should be replaced by "solar nano technology", "geotermal technology" and "nuclear technology" as soon as possible.

2. Instead of trapping poor people into subprime mortgages or high interest credit cards, banks and government institutions should raise the skill levels of their customers/citizens with micro financing for education or self employment.

3. The development of green technology should be a priority of governments in the G8 group.

4. In Canada, a large part of the "Employment Insurance Surplus" should go towards increasing the skills of workers who work at minimum wage.

5. Mutual funds, pension funds, and enlightened individuals should invest heavily in alternate energy and green techology on the world stock markets.

6. Prayer forums on "Global Green Stewardship" should be started immediately.

Below Aselin Debison sings "Over The Rainbow/Wonderful World in a small town in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.

 Top Ten Christmas Wishes of 2004

A Prayer For A Better Environment

Posted by qualteam at 9:43 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 25 December 2007 10:46 AM EST
Wednesday, 19 December 2007
Another Rose Concert: The Rankin Sisters
Mood:  a-ok

I've seen many concerts in my lifetime and "The Rankin Sisters" would rank up with the best of them like "The Eagles", "Roy Oberson" and "Gordon Lightfoot."

Sure their music is highly influenced by traditional Scottish and Irish music, but their harmonies are on the same level as "Abba" and "The Beach Boys."

Last night, they did mostly Christmas songs for an audience of seniors. However, "We Rise Again" got a standing ovation and that doesn't happen very much with a country/folk group.

Needless, to say all the girls were also able step dancers and they did two routines, one during the show and one for an encore. Wow!!! Four Stars.

We Rise Again

Posted by qualteam at 11:07 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, 20 December 2007 5:08 PM EST
Sunday, 16 December 2007
May The Power Of Rock Be With You On A Snowy Cold Winter's Day

Today, we were hit by the worse snowfall in December in seven years.

I'm accustomed to this weather because I grew up in Barrie Ontario where it was routine to get 30 cm of snow at one crack.

If you're feeling cold, wet and depressed why not heat yourself up with some "hot stuff". That could mean different things to different people.

The song below heats me up fast: Donna Summer's power rock version of Hot Stuff:



Here are some of my favourite high intensity rock songs of all time.

Posted by qualteam at 8:02 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, 16 December 2007 8:19 PM EST
Saturday, 15 December 2007
Review Of The Stage Play: Christmas Carol
Mood:  a-ok

For the first time in our lives, my wife and I saw a theatrical version of Charles Dicken's Christmas Carol.

It was notable that "Dickens" introduced many of the important scenes in the story. It felt more like an audio book than a stage play.

While the stage was sparse in scenery, the actors created Victorian England by their words and actions.

David Cairns did especially well as Scrooge, a man buried so deep in his own hell it's a wonder he got out of it at all.

Many of the other actors played different roles and this seemed to add to dreamlike quality of the production.

It's amazing how relevant "Christmas Carol" is in the 21st century. Three Stars for the actors at A.C.T.

Posted by qualteam at 10:51 PM EST
Wednesday, 12 December 2007
Musical Review: The Spirit Of Christmas
Mood:  a-ok

It's really great to have a world class theatre a few miles away from our house in Brampton. This is the "Rose Theatre" which opened last year. Already, we've seen five productions there.

The parking was free and it took only 20 minutes to get there and get home.

Broadway's "The Spirit of Christmas" resembled a Rockette's Christmas show with this one exception. There were many high energy rock songs which were performed with high energy dancing. This included "Higher and Higher", "Marshmellow World" and "Rocking Around The Christmas Tree".

The dancers also did varied dance numbers to Christmas songs (e.g The 1920s dance, "The Charleston", was done to "Jingle Bells" which was very entertaining).

"Santa Baby" was done by a soloist and it was hilarious

Some of the dancing and singing wasn't  the greatest, but I'd give the show Three Stars.

Posted by qualteam at 11:24 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 12 December 2007 11:27 PM EST
Saturday, 8 December 2007
Christmas Season Is Busy For Posties And Shoppers

It's very busy at Canada Post these days. In our section, we're working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to get the mail to our customers. That means lots of overtime.

My section is the Toronto Exchange Office (incoming foreign mail) and with the Canadian dollar very high. The mail has been a deluge.

Of course, there's shopping, decorating and cleaning up to do.

It's tough doing Christmas stuff and the blog too.

There's a great deal of commericalism during the holidays. It's good to be reminded every now and then what Christmas is it really about.

Below is one of favourite new Christmas songs, "Christmas Shoes".

Posted by qualteam at 10:18 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, 8 December 2007 10:31 PM EST
Wednesday, 5 December 2007
An Evening With John McDermott

Of the three great male vocalists in the world today, John McDermott is definitely one of them. The other two would be Josh Groban and Russell Hitchcock of Air Supply. To be a great male vocalist, you have to have a great voice with perfect pitch and sing songs with an emotional impact.

Last night, I saw John McDermott for the first time at the Rose Theatre in Brampton and it was quite an experience. John performed many tunes from his new album, "Sharing Christmas". Often, he reminisced about musicians he knew, his childhood memories of Christmas, and his father in Glasgow, Scotland.

The thing about John is that he doesn't just sing a song. He tells the story with it as well. This was especially true with "Christmas In The Trenches", a song about the Germans and the English meeting together and exchanging gifts on the battlefield.

The other songs which I found almost as moving were Ave Maria, Oh Holy Night and Old Tin Star. Four stars.

Dance With Me Daughter

Posted by qualteam at 10:42 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 5 December 2007 10:57 AM EST
Sunday, 2 December 2007
Are There Any "Brains" Behind The Subprime Fiasco?

Apparently, two ex CEOs, Charles Prince at Citigroup and Stanley O'Neal of Merill Lynch will receive multi-million dollar retirement packages even though they were fired for bringing billions of dollars of losses to their financial insitutions.

It boogles the mind when CEOs are rewarded for failure. In a 3rd world country, they would probably be executed.

There is very little subprime financing in Canada. We don't have much to do with these questionable risky products. TD Canada Trust shunned them completely.

Below is a video by Hillary Clinton on subprime mortgages and trailer homes, etc. Perhaps, this is just another reason to create a United States of Canada.

Posted by qualteam at 9:37 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, 2 December 2007 10:01 PM EST
Saturday, 1 December 2007
Movie Review 118: The Santa Clause Three

This movie wasn't as bad as the critics said it was. Sure Tim Allen's Santa Claus was getting a little stale, but Marvin Short injected some life into the story line. His "Jack Frost Wanna Be Santa" had some good moments, especially, the "North Pole, North Pole" number (to the tune of New York, New York).

Granted Santa Clause One and Two were funnier, but Santa Three was funny in a weird stupid way. Two and half stars.

More reviews on "The Escape Clause".

If that isn't enough for you, try Ray Stevens' take on the paranoid fatman:


Posted by qualteam at 10:58 PM EST

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