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Wednesday, 30 April 2008
American Idol's Saddest Moment

There were tears in my eyes when Brooke White was voted off of American Idol tonight. There were other singers better than her on the show, but she brought real emotions to songs like "I am I said" and "Let It Be".

When she smiled it was like a ray of sunshine in my life, and when she cried it was like a storm in my soul.

While Carly Smithson was my first choice for American Idol, Brooke was actually my third choice behind David Archuleta. David, probably, gets as many votes for his cuteness as he does for his singing.

At this stage of the competition, it should have been Jason Castro who got voted off.  Jason's voice is too weak and montonous to compete with the others.

Syesha Mercado has a fine R & B voice and she delivered "Thank The Lord For The Nightime", very well. However, her appeal may be lacking with young female voters who are coming out in droves to vote for their favourite "cutie and/or hotie" guy.

David Cook has his moments as a power rock singer, but he doesn't have the range or the depth of the other Idols. 

American Idol has become a popularity contest for whoever is watching at the time. The biggest win is making it to the top ten. Brooke finished fifth. Without a doubt, she will have a performing career ahead of her and one of her songs will be "Let It Be".

Posted by qualteam at 10:27 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 30 April 2008 11:30 PM EDT
Saturday, 26 April 2008
We Are Praying To Unleash "Green Technology" On Earth

At a higher level in the spirit world, many of us are deeply concerned about the problems of the world today. This includes the following:

  1. The rising cost of food and food shortages like rice
  2. The rising cost of oil and fossil fuels
  3. The after effects of the subprime crisis which includes worthless ABCP paper and a deteriorating housing market
  4. Rampant stockmarket speculation from hedge fund managers and others who want to make a quick buck on the backs of ordinary investors and consumers who are being squeezed to the limit.
  5. Excessively tight loan conditions for some potential home owners with a good credit rating
  6. The spreading of "doom and gloom" scenerios from senior economists and banking executives to the general public

As concerned stewards of the Earth, we want to turn around the negativity that has surrounded the above issues. We feel that with the help of God, we can produce positive changes for the peoples of Earth. This includes:

  1. Opening up more land for the cultivation of crops like wheat, rice and corn
  2. Creating tough fast growing hyrid crops that need less water and maintenance
  3. Making the necessary alternate energy breakthroughs like improved nanosolar systems that will create cheap power for electric automobiles and homes
  4. Producing financial institutions that promote and give low interest rate mortgages to credit worthy customers
  5. Bringing about massive losses to hedge fund managers who cause harm to the poor through high risk stockmarket speculation 
  6. Finding inspirational financial leaders like Suze Orman who will come to the aid of confused investors 
  7. Developing positive innovative ideas that will inspire change like in the song: Put a Little Love in Your Heart 

Posted by qualteam at 10:53 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 28 April 2008 12:01 AM EDT
Wednesday, 23 April 2008
Carly Smithson, My Favourite American Idol Is Going Home

Sure she's been around for awhile. She even won a singing contest in Ireland and made an album (It failed.).

Like Michael John, there was a great deal controversy over her amateur status and music history. This whole thing reminds me of the old Olympics Games and how good athletes were denied entry because they accepted money for participating in their sport. 

Carly, of course, didn't sound like an American. She spoke with an Irish accent and had a biker tatoo on her right shoulder. Added to the above, she sang "Jesus Christ Superstar" in a land full of fundamentalist Christians.

No doubt,  many of these factors took away from the fan base that she needed to stay in the competition.

However, rock and roll has always thrived on a bad boy or bad girl image, and what may not go over with middle of the road Idol fans will probably be just fine with hard rock fanatics.

Rock on Carly just like Gene Vincent in the 1950s:

Posted by qualteam at 11:15 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, 28 April 2008 9:01 PM EDT
Tuesday, 22 April 2008
Movie Review 120: Enchanted

"Enchanted" is a mishmash of different Disney fairy tales from Cinderella to Snow White to Sleeping Beauty, etc. Changing the location of these fairy tales from cartoon fantasy land to New York City was an interesting idea at first, but the whole cold reality of planet Earth quickly changed into the exciting two dimensional world of witches, spells, dragons and princes.

The conflict between the "real world" and the "fantasy world" never really happened which was a shame.

Of course, the special effects and music numbers were great, especially, the musical number done in Central Park, but the story never went beyond its sources in Disneyland and childhood mythology. Fantasy in Cartoonland and fantasy in New York Land seemed to amount to the same thing.

The cartoon characters were never challenged about the reality of their existence in the Big Apple and I found that lack of obvious conflict disappointing. I give the movie two and half stars, but most critics were generous in their praise of the film.

Posted by qualteam at 11:13 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 22 April 2008 11:18 PM EDT
Saturday, 19 April 2008
Spring: The Season For New Life

It's been warming up in Canada and the U.S. over the last week. These warm winds not only influenced the environment, but the stock markets of North America as well. The Canadian TSX and the U.S. Dow  Exchanges were up over 4% at the end of the week. 

While the TSX benefited from higher energy prices, the Dow had good earning reports from some of its biggest companies, IBM, Coca Cola and Caterpiller.

While the U.S. financial system is suspect in many ways, it still has the best multinationals in the world.

The U.S. also offers some of the best housing bargains in the world. With the Fed lowering interest rates and creating controls over the "Wild West Lending System", things could be booming in the States in less time than we think.

Posted by qualteam at 6:20 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 19 April 2008 6:59 PM EDT
Wednesday, 16 April 2008
Movie Review 119: Alvin And The Chipmunks

This is a complete modernization of the Chipmunks in the 21st century. There really isn't much character development of David Seville, the creator of Alvin and The Chipmunks. In the movie, he's portrayed as a failed folk singer. In actual life, he was both an actor and a songwriter of funny songs. He real name was Ross Bagdasarian, but for recordings  he changed it "David Seville". Ross died in 1972, but his son, Ross Bagdasarian Jr. continued the recordings of the famous Chipmunks.

The movie concentrated on the antics and the rise to fame of Alvin and his buddies. In some parts, it was quite funny, but the real story of the man who created them was never told. I guess that will be made into another movie someday. Two and half stars. More reviews of "Alvin And The Chipmunks".

In meantime, enjoy the original version of "Witchdoctor" which wasn't presented in the film:

Get Music Tracks! Create A Playlist!

Posted by qualteam at 11:52 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 17 April 2008 9:58 PM EDT
Sunday, 13 April 2008
General Electric Goofed Up Its Earnings Report

Sometimes it hurts to be too optimistic at a time of slower growth. This happened to GE and it shook the stock markets of the world. Take a look:

"Net income fell to $4.3 billion or 43 cents per share from $4.57 billion, 44 cents per share, a year ago. Earnings from continuing operations came to $4.4 billion or 44 cents per share, down eight per cent year-over-year.

That was well below the 51 cents per share expected by analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial for profit from continuing operations. The company (i.e GE) itself had forecast a profit of 50 to 53 cents per share".

Companies could learn a great deal from Canada's former Finance and Prime Minister, Paul Martin. He was the king of low expectations in Ottawa, the surpluses were always greater than predicted and deficits were always less than expected. The Liberal Government stayed in power for over 13 years with this lowball type of forecasting.

The markets are taking a cold shower of reality, right now. It helps if earnings expectations are underinflated for the time being.

Also, the U.S. public should be wary about electing a President who's an economic lightweight. 


Posted by qualteam at 9:18 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, 14 April 2008 6:55 PM EDT
Saturday, 12 April 2008
Beware Of The Toilet Police

This memo was actually sent to employees of a company that my wife used to work for:




If this bathroom is not kept clean, we will be forced to lock the bathroom door.

Then you will have to get the key from your shift supervisor.

It will be inspected before and after you use it.

From Management

Remember you might be being watched at all times.


Posted by qualteam at 12:33 PM EDT
Thursday, 10 April 2008
Dave Devall, King Of The Weathermen After 50 Years


Dave started as a weatherman on television at CHEX, Peterborough in 1958. I first saw him as a forecaster on CKVR, Barrie from 1959 to 1960. In earlier 1961, he made his appearence on CTV Toronto and has been with them ever since. To work over fifty years at one job shows me that he really likes it and he's good at what he does.

There's always a personal touch in his weather forecasting. He tells you if you need an umbrella, a coat or sunscreen.

The humourous touches like writing COOL on the transparent wall and then putting his eyes through the "OO" does the trick (LOL).

He banters around with the other newscasters and often gives the impression that he's creating the weather. There also a running joke about the fact that "he came from or is still living" in Bolsover, Ontario. I never knew where Bolsover was until I looked it up on the internet. It's situated East of Lake Simcoe near Beaverton. These are very senic rural areas of Ontario and part of Canada's vast wilderness. I went to a day camp in Beaverton when I was a kid and had a great time.

Dave is also a pilot and an honourary colonel of a Canadian regiment. He sometimes wears his uniform when broadcasting. He's still the number one meterologist in charge of the weather.

Posted by qualteam at 10:23 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 10 April 2008 10:58 PM EDT
Monday, 7 April 2008
Canada Post's Corporate Team Incentive Delivers

For the first time in the history of Canada Post, the membership in the Canadian Union of Postal Workers(CUPW) will be receiving a Corporate Team Incentive Bonus . It's only $895.00, not as much as I thought it would be, but it's a big change from "no bonus for 150 years".

I must point out that management has been getting a bonus for over 15 years, so I fought hard last year against CUPW opposition to it and finally, the union membership did accept it.

There is more information concerning the Corporate Team incentive on my CUPW website at Have fun checking out my history in CUPW and the anti-war songs on the website.

Below is Canada Post's spin on why the CTI wasn't in the 100% range:

"2007 was a tough year with aggressive target goals. Although we didn’t reach several targets, we exceeded those in key areas such as Lettermail delivery, reducing pay defects and lowering cost of operations. The Corporate Performance results and bonus rate for 2007 have been approved by the Board of Directors. Some key targets were met at threshold level, at target, or exceeded. The bonus will be paid to eligible employees on April 17, 2008 at a rate of 63.75% of their respective bonus levels".

Posted by qualteam at 10:47 PM EDT

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