Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Wow...what a year it has been! I thought a nice lazy post would involve me looking back through all of my posts in 2009 and making a quick list of my favorite ones. Going through the list I was amazed at some of the things that were going on politically and locally during the year, most of which seems so irrelevant now. I found that many of my beliefs on some of these subjects were different than what I think today, which I found fascinating. As I creep up on my first year of blogging, I am amazed at some of the nonsense I write about!
Any ways, here is a quick list of links my favorite posts during 2009:
January: WOW! Could they be any more arrogant?
February: No Sympathy for Calgary's Millionaire Mayor
March: When did Calgary become a Socialist city?
April: More Sugarplums from Ald. Druh Farrell
May: "Don" Andre (Soprano) Chabot protects his turf
June: George Dadamo...One Ambitious Fellow and WAP Leadership Race via Social Network Stats!
July: Only $25Million for this Peace bridge...are you sure?
August: McCarthyism & Why the Wildrose Alliance will never succeed!
September: Wildrose Alliance Membership Sales.... PART 1 or Who Is the Best Looking Candidate?
October: Alberta PC Party...Be Careful What You Wish For!
November: Survivor: Red Deer.. Ed Stelmach PC Leadership Vote
December: Who Is Really Blocking Alberta's Cellphone Law?
My most popular posts in terms of traffic still seem to be the two rants I did on Concrete Equities. If you have not seen them, here are the links:
1) Concrete Equities.."No Money Now....or Later?
2) Concrete Equities? Not so great after all...( and how I dodged that bullet!)
My Favorite moments of the year?
1) My Wife telling me she was pregnant! ( Check out my dad blog at http://www.calgarydaddy.com/)
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Eilerts Jul Everyone!
It is a misconception that Canadians and Americans do not know that much about one another. We share many similar cultural phenomenons including McDonald's, Celine Dion, Micheal Buble, the Internet and Nickelback. ( Uggg....you can have them though!) Some people are shocked to learn that while we have a different day for Thanksgiving, our Christmas Holiday's mysteriously fall on the same day as our American friends. While Canadians still practice most of the same Christmas traditions as the Americans, I thought I would share some of the Canadian Christmas nuances with our American friends! Here are some of my thoughts:
- Not many people know that Santa is actually a Canadian as he is from the North Pole. Like most good Canadians, he always leaves the country for fame and recognition, only to come back for its Peace, Order and Good Government...not to mention the free health care!
- Many people in Canada believe that in addition to being a wonderful singer of Christmas songs, Elvis Presley was actually one of Santa's most trusted elves. It is believed that Santa appointed Elvis as a famous singer so he could distribute gifts to the people that Santa missed. Many people think Elvis was just being generous when he gave away cars and jewellery to total strangers, but he was really just completing Santa's delivery list!
- It is a Christmas tradition in Canada to dress up as Elvis ( as I have above) and sing Christmas Songs. The sewing of Elvis Christmas costumes was once the third largest export from Canada after talented Alan Thicke, maple syrup and Cirque du Soleil! In memory of Elvis the Santa Elf, we also like to make Fried Peanut Butter and Back Bacon Sandwiches on Christmas morning. Yummy!
- No Canadian Christmas morning would be complete without the Elvis dance off. Before you can open your presents, everyone must gather in a circle around the Christmas tree and break off your best Elvis moves! The winner gets to be the first to open a present and is allowed to have extra sugar sauce on their deep fried turkey that night! I have been practicing for months...so wish me luck!
I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas or as we say in Canada...Eilerts Jul! ( In the Canadian language, this means "Elvis Christmas")
Note: If you have not already clicked the "back" button on your screen... As you are probably aware, I am completely joking about this! We don't eat back bacon in Canada....
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Once again it looks like Alberta has missed the boat. Earlier this week it looks like the Stelmach government will once again delay (or kill) MLA Art Johnston's distracted driving bill. Art is my MLA and I know how hard he has worked on this bill. As a former police officer he truly believes that it will save lives. In the Herald article Monday, I sensed his frustration and kudos for him for speaking his mind about his disappointment. This bill has been in the works forever and keeps getting pushed into "committee" so the old boys can delay it. With friends like these.....
Trying to read between the lines, I am at a loss as to why the government would be so opposed to it. I know that some use the argument about "government interference in our personal lives", but we are talking about texting/calling while driving here people! I like to speed sometimes also, but that damn government and all their rules and such just will not let me. The Premier has a long list of "reasons" about enforcement and such, but Don Braid shot holes through that in his article today.
So what is the real reason for the government push-back? I think its quite obvious.... its the rural folk. The rural Albertan's have been cursing this bill since its inception. They don't like to be told "what to do" and I think that the PC party is scared of pissing them off and losing their valuable votes. To me, I am at a loss as to why a small group of people can dictate the social, legal and financial policy of the rest of the province. Rural issues matter, but not at the expense of the safety of the rest of Albertans. God forbid some Andy Griffith look-a-like pull over Bubba for talking on the ol' CB while driving.
What's next for my rural-run government? A cabinet full of Rural MLA's that are sympathetic to needs of Calgary/Edmonton? Perhaps they will push some sort of Royalty Review now that the rural hotels are empty, save for the drunks who sit at the stools all day and talk about the good ol days of Strom and Manning. Perhaps they will work on a plan to get their budget balanced and allow MLA's to speak their minds and allow good bills to pass in this province.
As I stated, I think the Government is scared of alienating the rural vote. Perhaps they should consider alienating urban voters and supporters that are hanging on by a thread.
I wish. 10-4 Good Buddy!
Friday, December 18, 2009
I came across this video highlighting the Schmenge Brothers Christmas traditions and I must say, they are almost like any traditional Canadian family. Who doesn't look forward to 15lb Cabbage rolls on Christmas Day? I honestly believe that Cabbage Rolls and Coffee are an institution in many Canadian homes this time of year. I am not sure about the Christmas Egg or the Christmas Budgie, but to each their own!
A few months ago, I did a post on a PSA that the Schmenge Brothers did encouraging Wildrose Supporters to get out and vote! While I suspected that they were just doing their part for democracy, I now have reason to believe that they are in fact "card carrying" party members. If you watch the video, there is a gentleman that sure looks a lot like Paul Hinman. I have posted a screenshot above also. I wonder why WAP leader Danielle Smith was not invited to this party? Why was she left out of the festivities?
Watch the video on YouTube here.... right at the 1:09 mark and decide for yourself if this in fact Mr. Hinman!
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
When I saw this a few minutes ago, I got this sick feeling in my stomach.
Anyone who visits this site knows that I can appreciate sarcasm and humorous pictures. But this is just too much. It is sickening to think that the Liberal Party of Canada would allow this on their website. There is nothing funny about the murder of our world leaders. It is an embarrassment to your party and an embarrassment to Canadians.
Ignatieff....you puke, here is the out you have been looking for. I hope you resign sooner than later.
Oh Fred & Wilma! No wonder the baby boomers started smoking at 10 years old!
After 15 years as a pack a day smoker, I have finally hit that six month smoke free hurdle! It was relatively easy to quit, thanks to the wonders of modern medicine! As I have little to no will power, I found that smoking cessation prescriptions worked just dandy for me! I tried both Champix and Zyban over the past tow years, but Zyban finally worked for me. ( Note: Champix turned me into a robot and changed my personality...but it worked. Zyban caused me to get NO SLEEP for a month...but without the crazy side effects.) I really do respect those who quit "cold turkey"!
Do I still miss it? Absolutely! Especially if I am having a drink! I found myself contemplating having "just one little puff" a few times over the past few months, but held off. I know that once I have another cigarette, I will be back on Tobacco Road again for good! I must confess that I do feel better since I quit and really do not miss spending $300+ a month on those tasty little buggers.
Why did I quit? Mostly because of my family! With my wife expecting on 12/31/2009, I figure that now was the time to make it happen. I also got sick and tired of being a social outcast and having to go outside like an animal when smoking in public. Whatever the reason, I am just thankfull that I no longer smoke.
Don't worry...I refuse to become one of those "Ex-Smokers" that have that attitude towards those that still smoke. After all, I know where they are coming from.
Wish me luck for another 6 months!
Friday, December 11, 2009
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With all of this nasty snow ( And yes, I would love to blame Bronco for this weather at this time...) I thought we can use a little laugh!
Watch Ric and "The Duke" give our Lefty friends a good old fashioned snowball lesson!
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
You know, some days I just read the paper and shake my head. But today, when I read about the City of Calgary's wonderful idea to consider charging pet owners an annual fee to use local off leash parks, I just laughed. Never one to miss a media scrum, I see our "top dog catcher" Bill Bruce has provided his lovely opinion about his favorite topics, Fees and Social Engineering projects. ( For more on old Bylaw Billy, check out this post.)
As a dog owner that lives in the Deep Southeast, I can confirm that there is definitely a shortage of off leash parks in Calgary. We have to trek to Southland Park for a reasonably clear park to walk the dogs. Now, I don't need anything fancy, just a clear track of grass with a fenced in area. No playgrounds, swimming ponds or dog beaches required. This does not cost money...just land.
Some people will say "I don't have a dog, why should my taxes pay for these parks"? Well, there are 100,000 dogs in Calgary and they all need to be walked somewhere. A healthy city must include a ton of green space and open area's for dogs and their owners to walk in. Remember, we are not in Manhattan folks.
I would not pay a cent for the use of an off leash park and hope that common sense prevails with this foolish idea. If they proceed with it, I wonder what is next? Charging parents fees to allow their kids to use the playgrounds? What about fees for couples who use the sidewalks for romantic after dinner strolls? Think about it.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Give it up Dave! Our Mayor, Dave Bronconnier just refuses to let the campaign fundraising issue go. He brought this issue up last February and continues to push it in advance of the 2010 Calgary Municipal Election. If you really think about it, it is not hard to see why! His last challenger, Alnoor ( I will fund this campaign myself) Kassam caused Dave to spend a larger chunk of his campaign war chest than he hoped for, in order to compete in 2007. Alnoor was never a serious threat, unlike the uphill battle the mayor is facing in 2010.
If Alderman Ric McIver decides to run for Mayor, he will win in a landslide. So, if you are an unpopular, lame duck Mayor on his way out the door, what do you do? Limit your challengers ability to raise funds. I do not necessarily disagree with the "new" rules they are proposing, but I think that it is unfair to impose them on an existing group. Like I said before, "Why Now Bronco"?... if he is so keen on the new rules, why should he be able to use the $300K+ that he already has stored in his mattress? Why not just donate it to charity now and just run on the money you raise going forward. Not likely? You better believe it....
Personally, I do not think Bronco is going to run again, regardless of what he has said publicly. I believe that he announced his "intention" to run again to stop the flow of funds from his arch-rival, Ric McIver. Bronco is a lame duck mayor and knows that if he announced he would not seek re-election, he would not be able to try and push through his socialist policies on the citizens of Calgary in 2009/10. I can foresee a "change of heart" come August, when he will announce that he wants to spend "more time with his family" and not run for Mayor.
If he does run again, the $5000 cap is not a big deal to him. Take a look at his campaign contribution disclosure from 2007 here. Most of the donations are under $5,000, save a few giant donations from some of Calgary's largest construction/development companies. It is truly an interesting ( and telling) read.
Either way...I am just hoping that Ric McIver announces his intention to run. I have a new pair of runners for door knocking and a piggy bank full of coins to donate. Don't worry, it will be under $5,000 though!