Thursday, December 20, 2012

Sometimes A Penny Is Worth So Much More

Wow...It has been almost 5 years since I wrote an entry in  this blog.  A very old friend made a comment today about my writing on a Facebook post and it made me think that I should stop using FB so much for lengthy posts when I have a perfectly fine blogspot to rant/muse/post thoughts.   It's been a whirlwind of personal tragedies and triumphs over the past few years which is partly my reason for  not "blogging" more frequently....I thought for my first blog in 4 or 5 years. It would be nice to have a heart warming and positive post, this close to Christmas.   I may be a bit rusty but here goes... 

I was kind of grumpy when I got up this morning.  I was working late last night  and I am trying to get stuff done before I head off for Christmas holidays. At 9:30 am   I ran out of the house, got in my car and groused when realised I forgot to get gas last night which meant I would have to take a detour to go up Marlee to the nearest PetroCan at Marlee and Lawrence  ( I try to only use PetroCan 94, which used to be Sunoco 94 til they were bought out).   Each time I go there I always have a really pleasant exchange with the young lady behind the counter, if she is on shift.  In the summer, I would make a point of stopping there before my golf games and getting gas and grabbing a few gatorades.  

 I pulled in to the station and started to fill up the tank and did the "groan" as I couldn't quite stop the gas pump in time at $80.00 and it clicked that one extra time to $80.01...In my head I did my usual rant about rich oil companies and the stupid pumps that are probably set to go over one cent on purpose etc etc and I wonder how many millions they make from all of us who sometimes go over 1 cent whilst pumping our own gas....I went inside to pay and the usual attendant was there and she greeted me with her big, friendly smile and said "Good morning ma'am  that'll be $80.00"   I said "huh?" she said "pump number 2.  $80"  I was thinking "the ornery bastard at the Esso at Derry and 401 always makes me pay the 1cent"....I paid her and then remembered I needed washer fluid....I said "oh, I'm really sorry but I need some washer fluid. Can you ring one up for me"  I was about to get out the Amex again when she stopped me and said "Don't use your money, you have tons of Petro points it costs minimal points to get a bottle of washer fluid"...I said to her "thanks so much, I never knew how many points I had or what I could use them for,  that 's a great idea.  I really appreciate it"   She smiled and said "you are always so nice when you come in here and  I just wanted to do something nice for you.  Bless you Ma'am and have a great day"     So she saved me ONE penny and a $3.99 charge for washer fluid but the fact that she didn't charge me the 1 cent and the fact she even remembers me meant a lot.  

I do want to send something to Petro Canada but not sure if she would get in hot water for not charging me the one cent so I may leave that part out and just tell them that they need more employees like her and SHE is the main reason I keep going to the PetroCan at Marlee and Bathurst...

Today's Quote:  "A little thought and a little kindness are often worth more than a great deal of money."  John Ruskin

Sunday, November 11, 2007

In Remembrance

Quote of the Day:

For The Fallen

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,England mourns for her
dead across the sea. Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit, Fallen
in the cause of the free. Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres, There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears. They went with songs to the battle, they were young, Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow. They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted; They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not
weary them, nor the years contemn. At the going down of the sun and in the
morning We will remember them.
They mingle not with their laughing comrades again; They sit no more at familiar tables of home; They have no lot in our labour of the day-time; They sleep beyond England's foam.
But where our desires are and our hopes profound, Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight, To the innermost heart of their own land they are known As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain; As the stars that are starry in the
time of our darkness, To the end, to the end, they remain.

Laurence Binyon

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Good Night Sweet Prince.......

Today is a sad day for me. David Adams has passed away. David Adams was Canada's first "Superstar" Male ballet dancers. He danced with Canada's National Ballet when it first began in the early 1950's. His wife, Lois Smith, was Canada's first Prima Ballerina and my dance teacher for many years when I was a Professional Ballet student. He was the first, true homebred Canadian dance star.

David Adams taught quite a few of our classes when I was a professional ballet student and he was one of my favorite teachers. He had a commanding presence and a booming voice. I remember my first class with him so vividly. I was absolutely terrified, as we all were because we knew who he was and how well known he was and never mind the fact that he was a VERY handsome man! We soldiered on and he made us better dancers. He was tough and demanding and a perfectionist, as all dancers are but he was also encouraging.
Quote of the Day:

“It is through Art, and through Art only, that we can realise our perfection.”

Oscar Wilde

Friday, September 21, 2007

Hey George!!!! I'm still alive .............

In a speech defending his administration's Iraq policy, Bush said former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's brutality had made it impossible for a unifying leader to emerge and stop the sectarian violence that has engulfed the Middle Eastern nation. Bush stated the following:

"I heard somebody say, Where's Mandela?' Well, Mandela's dead because Saddam Hussein killed all the Mandelas"

Now, when JB and I heard this last night on the Jon Stewart show. We both looked at each other with our mouths open and almost fell off the sofa! Is there anything else you can even say? How Americans could keep this man in power for this long is a complete mystery to me. For my quote of the day I feel I have to pay homage to the wonderful Ann Richards by quoting a bit of her amazing speech (audio of speech available here) at the the 1988 Democratic National Convention. Now granted, her comments were directed at G Wubya's Father but I felt since Ms Richards was no friend of the Bush's it could certainly be used for this situation as well. I think it is rather apropos. I mourn the loss of Governor Ann Richards she was an original and a great lady who sadly, passed away a year ago this week. We need more politicians in this world like Anne Richards.

Quote of the Day:

"Poor George. He can’t help it. He was born with a silver foot in his mouth."
Ann Richards

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Autobahn, in Canada you say??

I have worked for the same company for almost 14 years and for those 14 years I have never been more than 20 mins MAX travel time from home to work. I could hop on a streetcar then subway to the office. If I had to, I could even walk home from work, in a pinch. All this came to a screeching halt when last year we started hearing rumblings about moving Engineering and Operations to a new office "campus" purchased by our fearless leader. We dismissed the rumours and balked at the suggestion that they would ever move us. Then we started worrying when we saw the blue bins being delivered to our co-workers in Engineering on the 9th floor of our tower last year. Shortly thereafter, we then noticed guys walking around our offices with floor plans and clip boards. Then in March of this year we were all given the nice glossy "move package" which trumpeted the greatness of our new facilities in BRAMPTON, yes Brampton. Now, for those of you who do not live in Toronto, Brampton is a suburb north of Toronto where NOBODY from Toronto ventures unless absolutely necessary. It is a suburban, cultural wasteland but even after that move package was delivered, the majority of us stayed in denial until more move dates were discussed and really most of us were in denial until those blue moving bins showed up outside our offices.
What does this have to do with the Autobahn you ask? A LOT. Keep reading.

Since generations of Ontario governments have done NOTHING to build a decent pubilic transit system that grew along with the urban sprawl. Our move to Brampton has forced a lot of us to have to drive in to work each day and as there is no subway that comes up here and to take the bus means you are in for an excrutiating 1.5 hour or more commute! This means I am forced to drive and I have to sit in the gridlock shown in the photo. Yes, this is what I have to sit in each day going to and coming from work since May of this year. I snapped this photo while sitting in traffic a few weeks ago sitting on the "on ramp" just to get on to Hwy 401. Now, most people would say, what are you going to do, you have to get to work and I guess this is true but this volume of traffic is ludicrous and I am quite sure that if we had an expanded public transit system that a lot of these cars would be taken off the road. I do believe that Hwy 401 is the most travelled highway in North America as it cuts right across the centre of the city and heads all theway across the Province. But back to the Autobahn......As I can no longer stand to sit in this mess each day I have decided to take the the plunge and purchase a transponder that allows me to travel on the relatively newer Hwy 407.
Hwy 407 began life back in the late 1990s and operates as a toll highway. Now, I am really torn about this decision as I really begrudge having to pay to use any road in this province when we pay a lot in taxes already but my cost to take the 407 from where I get on to where I get off is about $3 one way and the biggest bonus is clearly evident in the photo to your left! I snapped this photo on my morning drive in to work late last week. Granted this is a light traffic morning but even on busier mornings it is pretty much a wide open race track! The 407 was built with concrete which means initially it cost more to build but will actually need less repair work in the long run plus it makes your ride a bit noisy and thus all of us here at the office have basically started calling it the Autobahn. Not only because of the way it was built but also because it appears that there does not seem to be a speed limit or perhaps because it is being used by drivers who are paying, they have asked the Autobahnpolizei to lay off. I will say, if you are a regular commuter on the 407, you really must like to drive and it is not for the faint of heart. I regularly drive at a speeds of 130 to 140kmph and other drivers are blowing by me. 130kmph appears to be the average speed of most drivers and if you are driving 130kmph you better not be in the passing lane. I find that the drivers on the 407 tend to follow proper driving etiquette and nobody drives in the passing lane unless they are actually passing you. It is a bit out of my way to head up to the 407 but what I save in time and my sanity makes it worth it. Would I prefer to be able to just hop on a train or subway to get up here, you bet! But it seems a long time in coming. For now, I will zoom along the Autobahn and pay my $3 and arrive at work a little less exasperated.
Quote of the day:
“Automobiles are free of egotism, passion, prejudice and stupid ideas about
where to have dinner. They are, literally, selfless. A world designed for
automobiles instead of people would have wider streets, larger dining rooms,
fewer stairs to climb and no smelly, dangerous subway stations.”

P. J. O'Rourke

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Autological - wonder if she knows what it means?

Greetings All,

It has been a while since I last blogged. I have been on a surreal journey these past few months and did not have the inclination or time to blog until today when a friend sent me the link below! I just had to post it! Any further comments would just be superflous!

Quote of the day:

Abraham Lincoln (attributed): 'Tis better to be silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Shake It Up, Oo Oo Shake It Up, Oh Yeah

Happy New Year folks, It's been a while since I updated the ol' blog. Life is pretty stressful at the moment but thought I would take some time out and update my blog.

No, the title of today's blog is not an homage to Ric Ocasek or his band "The Cars" but I felt the 1981 song "Shake It Up" was quite apropo what with the very recent rumours that our Prime Minister is planning a "Cabinet Shake Up " Perhaps Mr. Harper can have the Cars playing in the background as he announces his plans to "shake up" or "shuffle" some of his Cabinet Ministers.

The big talk is that our girl Rona is being shuffled to another post. It is being called "the worst kept secret in Ottawa" You all know about Rona from my previous blogs. The poor girl just can't shake the shuffle speculitis. "Captain America" aka former PM Brian Mulroney has spoken out and suggested to Harper that environmental issues might be a key to capturing the next federal election and if the Stephen Harper government doesn't move faster, other parties are waiting to claim the environment as their issue. As a result, and probably because there are several hundred bored reporters left to their own devices in Ottawa during the parliamentary off-season, that rumours of a cabinet shuffle started to surface.

I find it worrisome that our Prime Minister is now going to take our Environmental issues seriously only because a former Tory PM is telling him it is going to cost him the next election. I would like to think that a Prime Minister of Canada would put our lakes, forests, air and wildlife at the top of his/her list as something sacred that is to be cherished and protected. Particularly a Prime Minister who claims to be a proud Christian and lover of god and the bible. Did he miss the chapters and verses about being good steward of the earth?

In my humble opinion, our Prime Minister handed the portfolio of Environment to a rookie Minister (Ms. Ambrose) and clearly didn't think the Environment was a terribly critical issue. Climate change has exposed the ill-preparedness of the Harper government. It is going to be an interesting 2007 in Ottawa.

So long Rona, it's been nice knowing ya

Quote of the Day:

Let all regard themselves as the stewards of God in all things which they possess. Then they will neither conduct themselves dissolutely, nor corrupt by abuse those things which God requires to be preserved.

John Calvin