Archive for the ‘Articles’ Category

  • The colours of movement

    Date: 2016.11.24 | Category: Articles, J2DW, Living Green | Response: 0

    dance-sihouetteToday is my last day as Chair of Living Green Barrie. In a few hours, I will get up in front of a few people at our Annual General Meeting for the last time. After 7 years, it’s time.

    I’ve enjoyed my time on the board of directors and in the office of Chair. And who knows, maybe in a year or two I will return.

    For now, I am focusing on my non-profit Journey to Diversity Workplaces and job hunting which has been going on for a few months. Also to give myself a bit of a social life. When you spend three nights a week on dialysis, it’s nice to have a night to play board games, or stay home and watch TV.

    My new year’s resolution for 2017 is the same as I had for 2016 – to make new friends and to develop the friendships I have. So if I message you asking you to have coffee, please say yes! It’s been a great resolution this year that I want to continue.

  • Why you have no say in whom I vote for

    Date: 2014.10.16 | Category: Articles, Open letter, Politics | Response: 0

     photo ballotbox.jpg
    In Canada, we are generally considered to be a democracy. In Ontario, it is municipal election time in every municipality.

    We get to vote for the Mayor, City Council, School Board, Hob Goblin, Batman, etc.

    Ok, we don’t really get to vote for Batman.

    Recently I was telling a few people why I would not be voting for Barrie’s current Mayor Jeff Lehman. A few people told me I was not voting for him for the wrong reasons. However, at the end of the day, those reasons are my own, and we still live in a democracy. I could be totally lying, since it’s a secret ballot, and still vote for him. (Won’t happen, but theoretically it could.)

    I think dialogue is a wonderful thing, but we shouldn’t discourage people from voting for someone – because they’re voting!! I would rather have someone vote for the “WRONG PERSON”, than not vote at all.

  • Why I cancelled @siriusxmcanada, and their #fail.

    Date: 2014.10.09 | Category: Articles, Rants & complaints | Response: 1

    No Sirius XM

    Back in March I was in an auto collision, with my 2007 Mazda 3 being written off by my insurance company. I was very disappointed, as I’d had that vehicle for 7 years, and loved it!!

    Because of that, I was forced to buy a 2010 Ford Focus. It’s a good car, and good quality, but not really the primary subject of today’s blog post. No, today’s subject is a feature that came with the car! SiriusXM radio!! It came with a few months for free, and after that, with a coupon code in hand, I decided to subscribe. I had found a couple of channels I liked, and wanted to hear.

    Then recently, SiriusXM Canada decided, in their infinite wisdom, to cancel the only progressive talk channel they had – SiriusXM Progress. But then the Canadian arm decided to take it off of the radio. It’s still available online, at the cost of bandwidth to me, but not on my radio.

    Of course I emailed them – twice, and wrote to the President, Mark Redmond, via snail mail, all to no avail. So when someone from Sirius called me today, I finally cancelled, as I had promised in each communication.

    I am done with SiriusXM Canada. They apparently aren’t progressive, which means they’re conservative. I won’t pay my hard earned dollars for that.

    Bring back my channel, and maybe I’ll re-subscribe. I sorta started listening to Canada Talks, but the programming is all over the place, and none of it on Canadian politics. I’d love a Sirius channel on Canadian politics. But the progress channel was fairly awesome, and I enjoyed it for a few months.

    Screw you, Sirius!!

  • The return of… Sailor Moon

    Date: 2014.10.07 | Category: Articles, Education, Television | Response: 0

    sailor_moon_moon_tiara_magic_by_sprintmcracer-d4awblo

    Shiney makeup!

    After 20 years, the tv show of a generation is back… Sailor Moon. It has been rebooted for 2014, and premiered in July on Neon Alley, Crunchyroll, and Hulu. Right now it’s subtitled… no dub yet. However, it’s still the same Sailor Moon amazingness as from way back in 1992. The new theme for Sailor Moon Crystal was done by a popular Japanese band. It’s a fantastic song, I have to say.

    Every time something traumatic happened in the show, the Scouts found joy after the suffering because no matter what, they all stuck together. There were countless times heartache, pain, suffering, death, breakups, and confusion hit hard. No matter what though, the girls made it through everything. This gave me a hope that everything will always be OK and that everything happens for a reason.

    This show was not only fun to watch, but taught the value of friendship, and for the many boys watching it at the time, how to treat girls, and women right.

    Thankfully the show is back, in its new form, Sailor Moon Crystal for both the die-hard fans, and a new generation…. and it’s streaming online! The other bit of good news with this, is the original Sailor Moon, all 5 seasons, is being re-dubbed by Viz Media!

    If that’s not good enough, then you’ll have to stop by AlphaLikes to buy followers for your facebook page!

  • The web this week…

    Date: 2014.06.10 | Category: Articles, Green Party, Health, Politics | Response: 0

    First off is an amazing YouTube video that if you haven’t seen it, you’ve been living under a rock. It comes to us from Volkswagen. It’s a must watch!

    If you’ve been living under the same previously mentioned rock, then you’ll have completely missed that this upcoming Thursday is election day in Ontario. I’m not going to lecture you on whom to vote for, but instead share more YouTube vids!

    noevil

    Next we have an awesome photo from the Kidney Foundation of Canada. Read my February blog post on organ donation.

    10462602_10152246240613871_1432080778427234494_n

      • My own non-profit, Journey to Diversity Workplaces released its June newsletter today.
      • A cancer donation box was stolen. While I don’t support giving drug companies even more money, this seems wrong.
      • Postmodern Jukebox released their new video titled No Diggity. Though Like a Prayer is still my fav.
    Clockwise from top left: Marge, Homer, Bart, S...

    Clockwise from top left: Marge, Homer, Bart, Santa’s Little Helper (dog), Snowball II (cat), Lisa, and Maggie. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

      • Not sure who your Green candidate is on Thursday? Find out.
      • Turing test beaten by Russian chatterbot.
      • 10 Words That “The Simpsons” Invented.

    Find out all this and more by following me on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+!!

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  • Why @Kobo is full of it. #fail

    Date: 2014.04.17 | Category: Articles, eBooks, Reading | Response: 0

    Once upon a time, I had a Sony e-Reader, I had gotten through the Airmiles reward program. It was a great e-Reader, but I soon upgraded to a Kobo. Since then I’ve upgraded to the Kobo Aura HD.

    Kobo Aura HD

    Then it was recently announced that Sony was getting out of the e-Reader business, and that my library would be transferred over to Kobo.

    Oh did I ever rejoice.

    It was a very happy day, now I can sync those books with the iPad app, and the android app. I was ecstatic.

    Then I got the link. The lovely link to transfer over my books. Should have been easy.

    It wasn’t.

    About half of my library was moved over, the rest weren’t under the explanation that Kobo didn’t sell them, and thus couldn’t put them in my library. Ok, no big deal. I already have them on my hard drive, I’ll live.

    Then I uncovered the lie – some of those books were available in the Kobo library. So I submitted a ticket. In the end they can’t put those books in my library for free because… they’re the wrong format. PDF vs ePub. So because of it being PDF, I get screwed out of it being in my library, and thus have to manually load it onto my Kobo.

    If the company makes a promise, they should keep it. This is just another epic fail that is making me reconsider this company.

    The other factor – Kobo is challenging a Competition Bureau deal worked out with 4 publishers to end the ban on coupon codes when you buy their books. I’ve long hated that I can’t use coupon codes on Kobo, and I’m on the border… of switching to a Kindle.

    So Kobo, get your act together, or you’ll lose my business, and I will stop recommending you to everyone who will listen. In fact, I’ll specially tell them to never buy or shop from Kobo.

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  • Are the @CanadianGreens as inclusive as they could be?

    Date: 2014.04.15 | Category: Articles, Green Party, Politics | Response: 0

    English: Dialysis machine with bed side setup

    For reader’s of my blog, you’ll know I am on dialysis. I have treatments three evenings a week, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. This is both a blessing, and a curse. A blessing because I am still alive, and a curse because it makes it really hard to travel.

    I am the immediate Past President of the Barrie Green Party. I was President for almost 6 years. I have been actively involved with the party since 2005, and this is my 10th year as a member.

    Coming up 18 July – 20 July is the Green Party of Canada’s Biennial General Meeting in Fredericton, New Brunswick. I am sure it’s a beautiful city, but it has a huge barrier for me as an attendee. Horizon Health Network operates the Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital. They have a dialysis unit….

    but it’s a satellite of the hospital in Saint John, New Brunswick. And they’re full.

    If an attendee was in a wheelchair, we’d ensure there was ramp. If they were deaf, we’d ensure there are American Sign Language interpreters.

    Saint John is approximately 1.5 hours away from Fredericton. I’d have to make two trips. One to see the kidney doctor, and another for the actual dialysis treatment. Upon visiting a new dialysis unit for the first time, it’s standard practice to see the kidney doctor. So the party is asking me to make a 6 hour round trip… at my expense. And I’m already a low income member.

    Why couldn’t we simply have the convention in Saint John?

    I had a similar problem in 2009 when the convention was in Nova Scotia, which unfortunately I couldn’t attend due to getting the flu. But 2010 in Toronto was fine, as was 2012 in Victoria, BC.

    This past Sunday at its Annual General Meeting, the Barrie Green Party heard from Sandra Holdsworth from the Trillium Gift of Life Network. She pointed out that those on the waiting list for a heart transplant go around with a backpack that has an artificial heart in it to keep them alive until they get a transplant. I imagine they can’t just travel anywhere. How are we accommodating them?

    So I am asking my fellow members to help me find a solution, as I could be on dialysis for a very long time.

    If you live in Ontario, I encourage you to ensure you’ve signed your organ donor card, by visiting the Barrie Green Party’s campaign page. (If the link doesn’t work, visit beadonor.ca)

    Thank you for reading.

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  • Revitalizing democracy

    Date: 2014.04.01 | Category: Articles, Green Party, Politics | Response: 0

    Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

    Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    On April 13th, I will be stepping down as President & CEO of the Barrie Green Party after almost 6 years. If I were the President of the US, that’d be a term and a half. Alas, I’m a volunteer President, and so after 6 years it is time to move on.

    I leave behind a legacy of democracy. When I held my first Annual General Meeting in 2009, we could barely make quorum. Over the years we’ve completely replaced the constitution with one that works much better for us, and not only do we meet quorum at our AGM’s, we exceed it. Simple things such has having a speaker, and sometimes Green Party of Ontario leader Mike Schreiner help bring out members, friends, and supporters. One change we made in 2014 was moving the meeting from January, to April, where we can promote it at our annual Earth Hour activities.

    This year we present Sandra Holdsworth, a presenter with the Trillium Gift of Life Network who will be speaking on organ donation. Sandra herself is from the Simcoe/Muskoka area, being a local native herself.

    I’ve always felt it was the President’s job to protect democracy within the Electoral District Association. I always claimed the AGM as mine, my event to organize, and invite the members to. To ensure it is not only held, but that anyone who wants to attend can. I also moved it from a boring evening during the week to a Sunday afternoon at the Barrie Public Library, where notably, the room is free.

    The new President of course will be able to chart their own course, but I am proud of my 6 years, and I cannot wait for whatever window opens next.

    “Second star to the right and straight on till morning.” – Captain Kirk, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

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  • Let’s dance again… by volunteering.

    Date: 2014.03.09 | Category: Articles, Green Party, J2DW | Response: 0

    I like to keep active by volunteering. I find it gets me moving, the blood flowing, and I get to meet all sorts of amazing new people. This is especially true when I am the volunteer head of the organization. Two of which could really use your help.

    In 2008, the Green Party of Canada, here in Barrie, had it’s best result ever, having a statistical tie with the NDP for third. Everyone was shocked. We couldn’t have done it without our volunteers. Three years later, we didn’t do so well. Why? We didn’t have as many volunteers. The Globe and Mail has actually come out and said that if we want to change how politics is done in Canada, citizens should join a political party and change it from the inside. I agree.

    Coming up this July, the Green Party of Canada will hold it’s biennial general meeting in Fredricton, New Brunswick. In the Green Party, the only policies the leader is allowed to promote are the ones voted on by the members. It really is grassroots democracy. And you can be the change!

    I’m also the volunteer head of another, non-political, non-profit, non-charity organization Journey to Diversity Workplaces.

    J2DW was created because of a real desire for change — in our pocket books. To change the way we work, the way we treat each other, employees, managers, and co-workers, and to make life a little more stress-free. We want workplaces that are ethical, moral, and legal. No loophole searching.

    J2DW as born this past December, but we still need a few good people to join the Board of Directors during the infancy of the organization to help us find out balance as we start to stand on our own two legs.

    If you would like to volunteer for either of these two amazing organizations, please don’t hesitate to email me.

    Neither of these two groups peak your interest? Email me anyway, and perhaps I can put you in touch with an organization that does.

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  • Living Green for today.

    Date: 2013.10.28 | Category: Articles, Green Party, Living Green | Response: 0

    Picture of a residential block in South Barrie.

    Picture of a residential block in South Barrie. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    I have been involved with, and on the Board of a local charity for over four years. When I started, I felt I had a full plate, but they needed board members so I joined. Since then we’ve gone from an organization that did things on a project by project basis, to an organization that now has long term projects such as Off the Rack, and FruitShare. Of course this organization is Living Green Barrie (AKA Environmental Action Barrie).

    Environmental Action Barrie has existed for over 25 years to bring the people of Barrie and surrounding communities together to learn about environmental issues, and to change habits in favour of environmentally – friendlier practices. We currently have ongoing eco-projects and we are always looking for volunteers. – Living Green Barrie

    This past week, I was elected Chair of Barrie’s environmental charity. This is very different from anything I have done before. As President of the Barrie Green Party, the Executive is more collaborative, and flexible. With the Board of Living Green, everyone works well together, but there are certainly more strong personalities there. Both have their pros and cons. The beauty of this new challenge, as Chair of the Board for Living Green, is to 1) impartially chair board meetings, and 2) ensure the organization stays on track, and stays according to its mandate.

    As President of the Barrie Green Party, I am an involved participant, despite the fact I chair the meetings of the Executive Board. I direct policy, and direction. But as Chair of Living Green, I don’t have control of anything. It’s a big contrast.

    But at the end of the day, it’s all worth it. I know I am up for the challenge. With the Green Party I got us working with Robert’s Rules of Order to help streamline Executive meetings, and getting us to where we aren’t there all day, instead now we actually have a few small committees.

    Hopefully with Living Green, we may get a few committees going, and be the charity Barrie deserves. We’re there, we just need to go the extra mile.

    If you would like to join either the Board of Living Green, or the Green Party, email me!

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