Monday, April 30, 2007

Another one bites the dust ....

Four down ... how many in Mexico ?

You heard it here first ... Hershey is closing another factory, this one in Oakdale, CA. The similarities between Smiths Falls and Oakdale are uncanny ...

The factory is Hershey's only one on the West Coast and has been a tourist attraction and employer in Oakdale since it opened in 1965.

The plant employs 575 workers who make Hershey Bars, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, and other sweets. However, recently it has been operating at 40 percent capacity.

The plant has an annual payroll of $27 million and injects another $27 million into the Modesto area's economy through the purchase of materials and services.

Last week the company announced it was closing two other plants, one in Connecticut and another in Reading, Pennsylvania.

The annual Oakdale Chocolate Festival, scheduled for May 19-20 and featuring many News10 anchors, will go on as planned. Mary Guardiola, the Chief Executive Officer of the festival, says that they plan to have the popular local event continue for years to come.

Hey ... I wonder if they have any dumb plans to keep The Chocolate Shoppe open after the plant closes too ???

RELATED: This is nice ...Last week's announcement in Connecticut didn't go so smooth.

Parent company did not handle the closing gracefully. Most of the 220 workers at the plant first learned about the decision from a page 1 story in the Waterbury Republican American published hours before the company bothered to tell them that their jobs would be moving to Virginia, or Mexico.

A bitter, not sweet, end to a rich manufacturing legacy in the Valley.


Green Party candidate leaves plastic sign out for more than a year after election....

Driving down the 5th concession of Pakenham yesterday ... this was too perfect to miss. Binders ... EMPLOYED.

BUT ... there was a perfectly good explanation .. the "reuse" part of the 3 r's ...


Pretty darn good shot.

The news just keeps getting worse ...

The last few days have produced enough bad news from the OPP to scare the bejeezus outta me ....

The obvious .... More Standoffs Coming ....

Fantino added he has no regrets about how his force has handled the situation in Caledonia since he took the helm, and said complaints of "two-tier" justice for aboriginals and non-aboriginals are "absolutely phony."

What else would you call it ?? Who else would get away with this ? You can be sure , not whitey.

More than 500,000 police hours have been logged during the standoff, which has injured more than 40 officers.

A good editorial ... calling for Fantino's job ...

Mr. "Ego" and the Ontario Provincial Police should not threaten to withdraw, but they should be kicked out of Caledonia and replaced by the army.

Fantino is even more ineffective than his predecessor and has further entrenched two-tier justice.


S, D and G OPP are apologizing to a woman and her daughter after the two criticized police for inadequately responding to their desperate 911 calls.

Connie Sandilands, 86, and her daughter, Linda Mitchell, say they made three 911 phone calls Friday night as an unidentified man pounded for at least two hours at the front door of Sandilands' Lancaster home.

The next morning, they woke up to a message on their answering machine from an officer saying he had located an individual - a motorist who had run out of gas - and sent that person on his way.

Why am I here ??

I've been asking that since I started last month .... And I think I have finally come up with the perfect reason. A little background before I get to the answer....

I lost my dad when I was 19, and missed the opportunity to know him as an adult .. As a man....

I had just completed my first year of college ..was working in my chosen field, in a summer job that likely would have set me up quite nicely. I came home that Friday night from work ... Elated as this was my first weekend off in 7. Pretty big deal to an 19 year old. I was taking off my uniform (a real one, not the Tims variety) when the call came from the living room ....

Mike ... Your Dads not feeling well can you take him in to the hospital ???

I should have known when he told me not to drive too fast .... I had no idea that he was in the final hours of life on this fair planet.

...he was only 45.

I still didn't get it when the doctor decided to send him to the Civic.... I was more concerned with letting everyone know ...

He knew ... Wanna know how I know he knew ?? Well the doctors told me, but looking back .. I should have seen that too . It was all over the look on his face as they loaded in into the ambulance ...

That look ... Still haunts me to this day

I didn't say anything ... Not so much as a cursory goodbye. I didn't know. I thought we would get to Ottawa and all would be well....

Didn't turn out that way ... He died in that ambulance.

I didn't get a chance to know the man ... And it hurts still ... Tears in my eye as I write ... Almost 20 years later.

Back to the topic .... Why am I here ??? Like 99.5 % of my life (minus only the occasional pint) ... I suppose it's for my kids... And thiers ... And thiers..... Because I'm into genealogy, I think this would be cool .... Wouldn't a blog from your 4th great-grandfather be great ??

I want my kids to know who the man was .... Really look into my brain. By seeing what I cared about on a given day ...What grabbed my attention ... What I saw ... What happened.

I can't think of a better reason....

So there it is.... 100 and counting

Friday, April 27, 2007

Men at Work 3

Noticing a theme here ??

Rudely disturbed from my sleep at 0400 this morning ... who else did I find "out plying the trade" ?

None other than the Montague Fire Department.

Funny thing .... I know it was dark.... but I didn't see our "residential fire expert" anywhere ... I wonder how they ever made do ?

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Men at Work 2

Much like the Royal Sappers & Miners that came before them ... this crew was hard at work this morning getting the Kilmarnock Bridge ready for another year of faithful service.

While it's an enviable job ... the folks at Parks Canada work many long hard hours under the glaring summer sun. They earn their keep.

The engineers have been hard at work ..

In order to provide my co-workers and I with the utmost in comfort, the CEO of the company I work for has directed the Fleet Department to come up with the ultimate company vehicle. Normally I wouldn't be "privy" to such company secrets, but someone with "connections" let me see the prototype .... it actually works !!!

Jealous ??

That's why I love working here ... they really do care. Another reason ... my boss has got vision and most importantly: BALLS.

His words, not mine:

"So I'll be very blunt. If they (the competition) screw us around too much, I'll screw them around where it really hurts."

Gotta go, break is over ....

H/T to "mon petit Acadian" ... who caught this ultimate vehicle near Cornwall.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

It's not just Hershey ....

It looks like the whole industry..... goin' for a shit !!!!

"the FDA is quietly preparing to let manufacturers adulterate chocolate by replacing cocoa butter with cheap vegetable oil. This will allow them to cut costs on candy bars and use cocoa butter for more valuable purposes"

"To hell with them. Savor chocolate sparingly -- and buy it from small artisanal producers that give growers a good price"

You can find this chocolate in Merrickville, I think.

RELATED: From the LA Times OP-ED Pages ....

A little over 100 years ago, Milton Hershey created the nickel bar, the first American chocolate bar for the masses. Today, these small purchases of chocolate products add up to an $18-billion business. Like all foods in the United States, chocolate is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration to ensure that consumers get a safe and consistent product.

But perhaps no longer. The FDA is entertaining a "citizen's petition" to allow manufacturers to substitute vegetable fats and oils for cocoa butter.

I can tell you right now — we will notice the difference. How do I know? Because the product they're trying to rename "chocolate" already exists. It's called "chocolate flavored" or "chocolaty" or "cocoalicious." You can find it on the shelves right now at your local stores in the 75% Easter sale bin...."

H/T to Glenda

Now that I have their attention....

I'm gonna let them have it ....

I had a VIP guest today ... have a look.

Domain Name ? (Canada)
IP Address 142.140.1.# (Government of the Province of Ontario)
ISP Government of the Province of Ontario
Continent : North America
Country : Canada (Facts)
State/Region : Ontario
City : Toronto

Now, it's not so much who came that caught my interest ... they've come knocking before, and I truly appreciate the fact that my voice is being heard .

No ... what really caught my interest is WHY they were here.

Referring URL
Search Engine
Search Words
rideau center smith falls ontario canada
Visit Entry Page
Visit Exit Page

I have a long, rich history with The Ontario Hospital, from my grandparents right on down. In fact ... I grew up with the place. I fondly remember visits to my Grandparents place on the 'ol Miss ... where they often brought people home for the weekend.

That's right ... they brought residents home for the weekend ... in the 70's... they didn't get paid ...they did it because they loved the people.

You'll never see the papers give you that story though .. no, no ... it's always the horror stories from back in the 50's ... when a lot of bad things happened... you know.. like ...blacks in the back of the bus in the Southern US ???

I also have some experience with the flip side ... care for these individuals in a community setting. There are plenty of successes with this type of arrangement .... in fact, most individuals, in my experience, benefit from community. It depends, I suppose on the individual. Notice I'm saying individual a lot ???I can tell you some failures too ..... I won't, but I could. I'll tell you how one ends though ... with an individual getting arrested. Then his name was in the community paper for the offence.

Enough said.

Let's assume McGuinty and crew are going to shut down Rideau. That's done too. The question is what now ....

It's pretty clear to me that "our guardian angels" are leaving us to our own devices.

However, she said the province is working with local politicians around alternatives for the site and added "the Ontario Realty Corp. is working diligently, in terms of releasing the site, to see what can happen on that site in the future."

Lay it on us ... we need something.

Finally, to the distinguished guest .... and do I hope they come back to visit.... it's Rideau REGIONAL Center ... you might just want to get off your butt in Toronto and have a look for yourself...It says so right on the sign out fact...I dare you to ... have a look ...

Really look.

Look at downtown ... stores are closing the doors already.

Look into the eyes of the people you are about to devastate... the single mother who just happened to get a good job out there and can earn a decent living... not extravagant, but decent. Or the parents of two young children I know, both of whom work out there.

Come on DO something ......

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Mr.Marconi would not be impressed ..

CFRA's Steve Madely is off, and the station has had some notable "guest hosts" to fill in. Yesterday, Ont PC leader John Tory, today Health Promotion Minister Jim Watson (and he called ol'Dolt !!) is in the chair.... I'd say "hot seat", as it should have been ... but sadly, it was not.

Something strange is going on in the radio frequency band reserved for Amplitude Modulation... not that AM has a history of being overly predictable. As I have noted, I frequently listen to WBZ1030 from Boston at night off air. This at the same time as stations much closer will not come in. For those who aren't aware this is infraction from the signals bouncing from earth to the ionosphere and back down again to terra firma .... You wouldn't believe where you can get stations from, particularly if you are listening with one of these.

Ahhh ... but this was different. While my dial (well, digital display) said I was on 580, receiving a clear signal, something was oddly wrong.... Somehow there is a strange metamorphosis going on ... I'm on the right station ... the right people are talking .... how is the signal from 1200 The Team getting in here ?????

This started yesterday ... I guess I missed the good stuff (you can listen to some of it here)..... I turned on the radio, there it was ... John Tory ... talkin' about HOCKEY ????

And it's still going on .... This morning the strange phenomenon continued .... An interview with ol'Dolt ... what would you like to talk to him about ... Lyin' during an election campaign ?? Lawless natives ?? Economic destruction in the Falls ??? The year it takes to get knee replacement surgery ??? Nope...

HOCKEY .... or, as the CFRA website states :

Dalton McGuinty's a Sens Fan!

Then again ... why would I think he would talk about a real issue ??

Wanna know what I did learn ??? Some wisdom straight from the lips of Minister Watson (he was speaking of ML fans). I think I got this right, I was driving, and pulled over to write it down. I'll listen later to verify each word.

"There are a lot of Toronto fans, not just in Ottawa, but in Toronto as well"

Astounding.... glad I didn't miss it.

I'm trying to look after your most impressive invention Mr.Marconi.... I'm tryin'.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Scam update: It's gettin around

The Amy Bruce make a wish scam chain letter is makin' it's rounds ... still.

I noted that I have had hits from across the country from this post ... today I got this one, from North Carolina

IP Address
162.39.109.# (Helms Mullis and Wicker - Charlotte)
ALLTEL Corporation
Continent : North America
Country : United States (Facts)
State : North Carolina
City : Charlotte
Lat/Long : 35.206, -80.829 (Map)
English (United States)
Operating System
Microsoft WinXP
Internet Explorer 6.0
Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; InfoPath.1)
version 1.3
Resolution : 1024 x 768
Color Depth : 32 bits
Time of Visit
Apr 23 2007 9:23:57 am
Last Page View
Apr 23 2007 9:24:32 am
Visit Length
35 seconds
Page Views
Referring URL I am 7 years ol
Search Engine
Search Words
hi, my name is amy bruce. i am 7 years ol

Breaking News -- Another Hershey factory closure

Hershey to close Reading, Pa., plant, cut 260 jobs

HARRISBURG, Pa. - The Hershey Co., the nation's leading candymaker, said Monday that it will shut down a plant in Reading and cut 260 jobs as part of a wider move to cut labor and materials costs.

"Our network operates at less than half of capacity and we must make significant changes to remain competitive," Hershey spokesman Kirk Saville said.

RELATED: Rub it in, why don't ya ...

Its raining jobs; Foreign banks to hire over 50,000 in India

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Men at Work

Captured on a hike "in the back 50" tonight with "my ladies".

I swear .... for 45 minutes I was 8 again.

Summer of 1990, all over again

Not going to comment much on this as Neo is doing a great job on it, and like him, but in a different way (*wink* ....for those who know me) ... it hits kinda close to home now....

If there is one positive to come out of the native "protests or blockades" .. ( I prefer "illegal occupation" .... I wish the msm would describe them that way) is that I'm bettin' that come the heat of mid-July this is all gonna blow up in Dalton's face.... and we "Tory's" will reap the benefits come October ..... an ugly way to win votes, but ol'Dolt's got no-one to blame but himself.

The only question is who's gonna die... another Dudley George or Corporal Marcel Lemay ???

I did have high hopes when Julian Fantino took the helm from Gwen "what's-her-Face", but sadly they ... ummm...quickly evaporated... and you know things are goin' bad for Julian when even the Dippers are calling for his resignation. Then ... who can blame them... when he starts making threats like this ...

"Fantino implied that if any of his officers are hurt as a result, he won't support a renewal of the force's contract to police the town and will back any officer's lawsuit brought against the town."

How's that "to serve and protect" ??

Imagine, for a moment, if Julian were to make good on his threat ??

Imagine, those poor people, after all they have been through for the last year plus .... In the middle of an illegal occupation, the OPP pack up and go home...

Unimaginable, really.

RELATED: In my opinion this guy was way over the top.... I was wondering when this would happen ....

The owner of a website critical of the provincial police's handling of an aboriginal occupation is facing a $7.1-million lawsuit filed by a group of 22 Ontario officers who say they have been defamed.

You want to see how I think the whole thing is going to play out ??

An excellent use of our tax dollars .. you gotta give credit to the CBC when it's due ... it doesn't come often. I like clip 7 best ...

It's a scene of hysteria, pandemonium and high tension as more than 2,500 soldiers descend upon Oka.

Don't forget .... substitute golf course for gravel pit.

I can only hope that late August will go better for me than it did in 1990. 'Cause if it goes the same way ....

You all will know about it.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Virginia Tech killings

Monday night/Tuesday morning following the student killings in Virginia I was listening to WBZ1030 in Boston. An older lady called in and questioned why some of the men at the college did not jump the assailant when he was re-loading his weapons.

I felt while perhaps it was asked a little too soon after the horrible event, that this was a fair question ....

My thought is the answer might be that many men just don't know how to be men any more .... Why ?

One word: Feminists

Kate has a article over at SDA that sheds some more light ...

Why didn't one of the huddled sheep attack the guy while he was reloading?

...anyone who hadn't had their spine removed by years of immersion in a non-confrontational, liberal, pansy-ass societal and school environment, would have snarled deep in their throat and leaped at the shooter.

RELATED... After I wrote this last night, I was watching CNN's coverage of the killings. The students killed were constantly being referred to as children or kids ... For God's sakes, man !! Anyone who is attending this school is supposed to be an adult. Stop referring to them as "kids". They are not. Would anyone describe the same aged people, who choose the military as opposed to university, and say expire in Iraq... would they describe them as "Children". Not likely .... but that gets right to the bottom of it.....

I guess maybe we do know where the "real men" are.

Is the MSM smokin' pot today ?

I can't figure this out .. three examples here ... All valid at time of posting (I'm sure that's going to change)

1. Tyendinaga Mohawk Police Service chief suspended for calling the RCMP & OPP racist ... where do you think it's found ... You would think Belleville Intelligencer right ??? Nope ... Cornwall Standard-Freeholder, only, for the last 9 hours. This is national news, boys and girls.

2. Study paints a bleak picture of Eastern Ontario ... Should be found in every newspaper in EO, right ?? Citizen, Sun, Whig Standard, R&T,etc,etc,etc. Nope, this found one's only in the Intelligencer, Apr.17. An important, and very disturbing read.

"Eastern Ontarians tend to be poorer, older and have fewer economic opportunities than the rest of the province."

"There is a strong socioeconomic and educational gradient,"

"Just about any behavioral aspect of health is greater in the poor or poorly educated."

Average earnings, per person:

Ontario: $35,185

Smiths Falls: $25,753 .... this is before we lose the best 1500 jobs ??? YIKES !!!

3. Of interest to parents around the globe ....

A research team from the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario evaluated 300 children aged 6 to 17 years


Children who received ibuprofen experienced greater pain relief 60 minutes after receiving the dose than children receiving the other two medications." (acetaminophen or codeine). This story is found only at "The Acorn".... from Agoura Hills, CA

Can anyone offer another explanation for this ??

Commuter rail.. we'd better get on board

Because other communities in our area already are.. Plans are in the works to run a morning and afternoon train from Alexandria to the City.

Not much time to write tonight ... but I found a few links that are interesting.

Eastern Ontario transit board forms
In rural Eastern Ontario a new inter-municipal Transit Board was founded on February 9th by the towns of Casselman, La Nation and (as an observer) North Glengarry (Alexandria). The board plans to operate commuter bus and train services into Ottawa in co-operation with VIA Rail. Startup is foreseen for September 2007.

Related South Nation council minutes.

Editorial from the Cornwall Standard Freeholder .... They are on top of it ... why isn't The Record News ??

Commuter rail plan a win-win proposal

Improved commuter rail service between the nation's capital and eastern Ontario would be a win-win situation: it would take more vehicles off the road and make rural eastern Ontario a more attractive place to live, and that would assist economic growth, something that is lagging in this part of the province.

This is one of the few advantages we have in Smiths Falls and area ... Imagine, light rail to the Fallowfield Station. Just a very short bus ride away from the 6000 or so utterly fantastic high paying jobs coming to the new RCMP Headquarters at Merivale and Prince of Wales .... remember that many of these poor souls currently live in Orleans, and are facing a nightmarish commute once this move is done ... They're ripe for the picking ....

Why is it that the only ones to talk about this issue are bloggers ??

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

I now have proof ...

A true story ....

A couple years ago, after a long night of driving, we pulled in to a Denny's somewhere in South Carolina for a hearty breakfast to see us through the remaining 9 hours of the trip to Florida.

Now, maybe this lady picked up on the fact that we were Canadian, although I can't possibly figure out how. Overheard in the booth beside us ( with that distinctive SC drawl ).... " Did you know that French-Canadians WILL NOT eat with their hands .. hamburgers, whatever... they just don't do it."

I almost had to go over and question this lady as to where she ever picked up this little bit of trivia, but I resisted the urge ... the desire to hear what other bits of wisdom this lady might spew from her gums told me not to. After all, I am friends or work with just about all of the varieties of French Canadians you can imagine... Franco-Ontarians, Quebecois, even (my favorite )...Acadians. Never seen or even heard of this odd behavior. When told about this encounter .. all of them laughed as much as I did ....

Then I read this over at SDA.

“If this gets out, it could mean the end of the Liberal Party of Canada,” warned a local politico, requesting anonymity.

And what, pray tell, has the Grits so up in arms?

.....Dion shocked locals and his handlers by eating Kelekis’s world-famous hot dog with — gasp!

a knife and fork."

WHAT ????

You mean that lady was right ??? How can this be ... The French guy's I know all laughed too ...

Then it struck me ... that lady simply left one key word out ... she must have meant to say "Liberal French-Canadians ".

Ahhh ... now it makes perfect sense ... How could I have known ???

I'd never be seen with "one of that kind"

UPDATE: Photo evidence over at Dust My Broom

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

When does half a sentence ..

... buried on Pg 2 of the local rag mean soooo much ???

When, in my opinion it's one of the best shots Smiths Falls has of surviving the imending doom ...

"Mayor Dennis Staples will be meeting with officials from Via Rail to discuss a number of issues including a lingering concern of VIA possibly eliminating its stop in Smiths Falls. Also on the agenda will be the potential of a light rail service to Ottawa for commuters and a review of the work done at the VIA station building"

What did you say .... light rail to Ottawa ??? Oh, you're talkin'..

A lot more on this to come....

Looks like I have to do it ... "The Reckless" obviously doesn't think it's very important.

Clive's been looking ...

.... and I think I found ONE !!

We at TDPC thought it might be interesting to let a Liberal guest blog here for once. Unfortunately, being from Smiths Falls, we couldn't find one.

From today's Reckless... which I would link you to, but it's still stuck in the 20th century and doesn't have a web presence yet.

"The town intends to keep pressure on both the provincial and federal governments for assistance with (Town CAO) Brown calling the provincial government "our guardian angels"

WTF ?!!!!!

You are calling the government that is taking the top 1000 jobs out of the town of 9000, and is doing diddly for us otherwise .. "our guardian angels" ... I'd sure hate to see who our "devils" are.

WOW ... I've gotta be right... only a Lib would say that. I wonder if he'll take Clive up on his offer ?

Hershey shareholders let 'em have it ...

I know I said I was done with Hershey ...... but this is significant, if only that the media reports of this story mention the plant closure in Smiths Falls, and any exposure for the Town from this story has got to be good... Especially when, amongst others it's Forbes, ABCMoney in the UK, and another in France. You just never know who might be reading these publications and take notice.

The chairman and chief executive of The Hershey Co. faced shareholders for the first time Tuesday since announcing hometown job cuts and a major overseas expansion, and insisted to a divided audience that he was doing the right thing for the company.

Richard H. Lenny, the first Hershey Co. chief executive hired from outside the century-old company, did not apologize or back down.....

"Like it or not, that's the job," Lenny said, adding that, "We are making decisions that we believe are in the best interests of the company."

Lenny contended the company took pains to extend benefits to affected workers, and scolded people in the audience who criticized him, but had never had to order layoffs.

"None of you knows how difficult it is," Lenny said.

"None of you knows what we go through."

Ahh ... he's upset.. until he receives his multi-million salary for driving a century-old, once-proud company into the ground.

Here's a hint ... I just wonder maybe, before laying off, you might try an aggressive marketing campaign based on the fact that Hershey is such a company ... Still controlled by a charitable trust for god's sake .. Proud to be American, Canadian, whatever... if you need to, raise you prices the dime or whatever per bar you're going to save by setting up shop in Mexico...if I want a chocolate bar 10 cents is not going to make a bit of difference. Put the friggin' flag right on the package. I'm willing to bet that there are a lot of people like me who are sick and tired of companies bailing on us for the easy buck .... do you think Lou Dobbs is still in one of the best slots on CNN, running the same story over and over and over again by accident ???

One more thing .. I did buy a chocolate bar yesterday .. A KIT-KAT !! PRODUCT OF CANADA proudly displayed on the package ... Way to go, that's exactly what I'll be buying from now on.

RELATED:The editorial pages from the Reckless carry a letter from PA ... to paraphrase ..

"we consumers can send them the message .... dribble ... if you chose not to be in our community by eliminating jobs in Hershey and Canada, then maybe you don't deserve our money, either"

Hope the China Chocolate Bar unveiled at the Annual meeting goes well for ya Lenny... I'm not puttin' my money on it.

Burnin' ring of FIRE !!

... and it burns, burns, burns.

Flaming loo makes customers cautious

Tokyo - Twenty-six smoking toilets, and three more on fire, put a Japanese toilet maker in the hot seat on Monday.

Toto, known for its high-tech toilets with bidets that have blow-drying, air purification and seat-warming functions, apologised to consumers and offered free checks and repairs after some of its toilets with bidets and heated seats sent up smoke and three caught fire.

"Fortunately, nobody was using the toilets when the fire broke out, and there were no injuries," Tanaka said.

"The fire would have been just under your buttocks.''

Hehe..Ummm ... that's pretty close to home, brother !

I had to know... just what does this useless peice of technology look like ?? From ... yep, you read that right .. seems there is website for everything.

Monday, April 16, 2007

A scam uncovered ....

A well-intentioned individual sent me the following email yesterday: (forwarded down a chain a mile long)

From Chatham Ontario

Hi, my name is Amy Bruce. I am 7 years old, and I have a large tumor on my brain and severe lung cancer. The doctors say I will die soon if this isn't fixed, and my family can't pay the bills. "The Make A Wish Foundation" has agreed To donate 7 cents for every time this message is sent on. For those of you who send this along, I thank you so much. But for those who don't send it,I will still pray for you.Please, if you are a kind person, have a heart. Please,please, PLEASE HIT THE FORWARD BUTTON.

Amy Bruce

Now, a few things set off the ol' radar about this ... First .. I don't think I've ever heard of a kid having lung cancer. Second .... I've never heard of "mild" lung cancer... Third .. Medical coverage in Canada, however dismal, is free. Forth .. I don't think "Make-a-Wish" would stray too far from their original excellent work, and it certainly wouldn't be by e-mail.

A quick Google search confirmed my suspicion .....

Each day, the Make-A-Wish Foundation and its chapters receive hundreds of inquiries about chain letters claiming to be associated with the Foundation and featuring sick children. However, we do not participate in these kinds of wishes. Some names associated with these wishes are:
Amy Bruce, Jeff DeLeon, Rhyan Desquetado, LaNisha Jackson, Nikisha Johnson, Jessie Anderson, Kayla Wightman, Craig Shergold, Craig Sheldon, Craig Sheppard, Craig Shelton, Craig Shelford, Anthony Hebrank, Chad Briody and Bryan Warner.

My suspicion is this is a sick way of gathering valid email addresses .... all those on the chain can be expecting LOTS of viagra spam .... Crank up the filters !!!

The moral of the story is..... THINK about what you are sending to your "friends".

Thanks, Buddy....

-- I've had a couple of hits from both ends of the country with the referring page being a google search on "Amy Bruce Chatham" .... If you find yourself here this way... congratulations for actually thinking this through !!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Wireless internet security

When we finally got DSL last month, it only made sense for us to get a wireless router to use with our laptops. Since I use a computer for my employment on a regular basis, often in the strangest of places, I can see that many others do the same.

I guess a lot of people also don't read the operating instructions that come with these routers... You wouldn't believe how many people simply plug it in .. hook up the LAN cables and viola ... it works.

Small problem with this.... if you're like me you might have a small problem with Diddlin' Dan downloading his filth on your dime. Not to mention the legal repercussions. I'm surprised you don't hear of that happening. And while I would never do it ... opening your pipe means opening your computer ... someone so inclined can look at anything on that network.

Some examples ... Park in front of Giant Tiger... there is one there (and it's not Comfort Inn's, you can use theirs too). 4 or 5 at the Railway Station. Somebody named Rose has one in front of Subway. All of them ... free to use their pipe, whenever you like.

There are a few things you can do to prevent this from happening:

1. RTFM ... A cry often heard in my line of work ...Read The Fu*$in' Manual

2. Put a unique non-identifying name on your LAN... and put a password on it.

3. Stop broadcasting the presence of your LAN ... there is no need to do so. And it would stop this from happening.

4. Reduce the power of your transmitter ... The range of these devices is often far more than the average Joe requires.... We live in the country, so there is about 100 m between us & my neighbor. Upstairs my computer receives his LAN at full strength .. through two walls and 100 m of free space loss.

Oh, BTW... it's a good thing for my neighbor I'm an honest fella ... I didn't need to pay for high speed ... I coulda just used his.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Manufacturing woes across Ontario

From the Niagara Falls Review

Loss of manufacturing jobs should be an election issue

"I think it's one of the most significant problems, if not the most significant problem facing rural and small-town, small-city Ontario today," said Bob Runciman, the Conservative MPP for Leeds-Grenville. "I look at it from the perspective of where are the good jobs going to be in the future," Runciman said.

"You travel across Eastern Ontario, and I suppose it applies to most of Ontario, if you look at the polls, this doesn't seem to be a real blip on the polls," Runciman said.

"People aren't really grasping the gravity of the situation yet I don't think and what it means for the future," he said.

I don't think there is a single person in Eastern or Northern Ontario that doesn't get it Bob .... as usual it's the 416 & 905 crowd who are in the dark.

"I think it's an extremely serious issue and one the current government doesn't seem to have any plan to deal with or any willingness to deal with."

Somebody please tell me what issue the current government is dealing with ... besides adding to our tax bills ...

Take a look 4 years in ...

Better health care .... NOPE

Native lawlessness ... NOPE

Better, affordable education ... NOPE

Can somebody PLEASE tell me just what it is they have been doing in QP ??

Here is the Liberal angle ...

Sandra Pupatello, the minister of economic development and trade, said the government has invested substantially both to save manufacturing jobs across Ontario (????) and help build infrastructure to help communities retain jobs.

"In the Smiths Falls example, they know what they need in terms of infrastructure in their community and one big item was actually in the budget and that was the launch of their hospital," Pupatello said.

Jobs, ma'am, that's what we need .... don't forget the Ontario government is taking twice the jobs out of Smiths Falls Hershey is .... and refuses to re-consider or find an alternative use for Rideau Regional Center.

Oh ... here is something the Lib's have done ... made sure prosperity continues in the beloved 905/416 area codes.

".....however the bulk of government cash has gone to help urban manufacturing such as the auto sector. "

Let's not forget in October who pledges to help us:

John Tory, has called for the decentralization of government services, to move civil service jobs out of Toronto and into smaller communities, as a partial solution to the economic destabilization taking place in Ontario's smaller communities and for innovative measures to target rural and regional job loss.

Friday, April 13, 2007

A bon voyage ... we hope.

A little lighter today ...

Our travel plans for this year are coming together ... normally we take a little break from the snow and cold here and travel to Florida in early February.

We didn't go this year as my brother has decided to "do the right thing" and get hitched in October in Cozumel Mexico... on a cruise. The cash register starts ringin' .... oh ..there's more.

Since my wife refuses to step aboard a plane after seeing that second plane, as it happened, fly into the WTC, we have to drive. A week away does not justify driving nearly 6000 kms, soooo it's gotta be two weeks....Hey..we're going to be down there for Halloween .. why not do it at Disney for Mickey's Not-so-scary Party?? Cha-ching.....

So the plan is to drive down, take the 7-day cruise and then return to Kissimmee for a week. Courtesy of the magic of the internet we have just rented a beautiful 5 bedroom house in a great neighborhood close to the parks that is owned by a nice young family in Ireland.... we have done this before and it is an excellent, affordable way to stay. If you have two families together it's way cheaper than hotel rooms. You don't have to eat restaurant food all the time.... with the expense that comes with it. No sharing a pool with 200 people.

Sound like fun ?

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Bob Runciman weighs in ..

And he's not giving up, yet.

While Runciman said he wanted to avoid a "partisan spat" with the Liberals, he suggested the government has given up too easily now that Hershey has pulled the plug on any thought of saving the plant.

"That to me is waving the white towel and this is too important to wave the white towel," he said.

Now, Runciman's no fool .... he knows Hershey is gone ... the question is... can anything else be done ?

Well, ya.

...there are local examples of employees rallying to build a new company from the ashes of a plant closure announcement.

"I've seen it work in Brockville and I know it's worked in other parts of the province as well.

It's something that we have to explore."

He pointed to the group of managers and manufacturing staff who rallied after Black and Decker in Brockville announced its decision to cease manufacturing in 1998. The employees formed a new company, Camalor, and successfully bid on a Black and Decker product line.

As for keeping the chocolate shop open with no factory ...I've always thought that was dumb... Who the hell wants to buy Mexican Hershey bars.. after they've picked up and left Town ?? It's not going to have a tourist draw.... Now, a factory that could rise up from this, and become a true Canadian success ... I think you could draw just as many... It's the opportunity to see chocolate being produced that is the novelty, I don't think it will much matter what label is there.

One bit of advice to any new business that might be formed from this ...

Leave the CAW membership cards at the door.... will ya ??

Buy local....

... and here is a great idea to identify local products.

The new Proudly Northumberland label is what people should be looking for, whether it's on food, industrial products or other services, two different audiences were told at the unveiling of the new branding symbol yesterday.

Food identified as grown within the riding of Northumberland-Quinte West tells consumers it meets rigorous safety standards....

The branding symbol sports the county's blue and green colours in two slim curved lines beneath a stylized leaf emerging from a seed. The green seed icon is for life, growth and environmental sustainability, as well as innovation, Mr. Borovilos said

.....but getting onto store shelves will be the "big hurdle," he acknowledged

I do try to do this already ... I shop alot at Garden Market, which does support local farmers .... Our cheese comes from St.Albert or Belleville's Black Diamond... Steaks and pies from that farm stand at the intersection of Rideau Ferry & Port Elmsley Road.

It looks like there is some provincial $$ available ....

The provincial government has committed $12.5-million to boost rural development, and Mr. Rinaldi's agriculture advisory committee came up with the home-grown food branding initiative as a priority for this riding, he said. Buy Northumberland-Quinte West first, Ontario next, and then Canadian, Mr. Rinaldi urged

Maybe Scott Reid or whomever gets in Provincially could start something similar for the LFLA riding ??

Oh ya ... and I did buy Hershey chocolate bars. Not anymore.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Ah, the internet.

The Good

The Bad

The Ugly

Smokes in a baggie..

... you just never know what's in them.

From Halls of Macadamia:

Cheap native-made cigarettes can contain dirt, metal filings and other unsavoury ingredients mixed in with the chemical stew of 4,200 chemicals found in all smokes, according to an analysis done by the federal Ministry of Revenue...

....adding the cheap smokes are often made with tobacco swept from the floor of cigarette manufacturing plants and sold illegally at clandestine auctions.

I'm really concerned where all this money is going ... From today's Recorder and Times:

More charges have been laid as part of an investigation into the contraband cigarette trade here.

The charges stem from a raid on a William Street East residence on March 29 that netted police 26 cases of illegal smokes worth $28,600 as well as $3,000 cash in small bills.

My ever expanding vocabulary

I actually got to use the term "nappy-headed ho" in the correct context today, less than 24 hours after I learned what it meant.


I'm goin' home ...

If I can't be PM... then I'm not playing your stupid game ! Opportunistic ....(insert adjective here).

Monday, April 9, 2007

Who decides ?

Looks like the decision to buck the trend and keep the Smiths Falls Police, instead of contracting the service to the OPP was wise ....

Arnprior has lost control of number of officers required for the town, and therefore cost.

"....without a satisfactory explanation of a proposed $600,000 yearly cost increase or modification of terms to suit council's contention the town requires a maximum complement of 14 officers, not 17 as the OPP insists."

The provincial police's subsequent proposal took staffing from 14 to 18 and annual base cost from $1.5 million -- with the town providing a building and support staff -- to $2.1 million a year over five years.

G&M article today

Some great exposure in one of the national papers today ... with some new details.

Layoffs force Smiths Falls to 'reinvent' itself

Nearly 200 e-mail inquiries about alternative uses of the Hershey plant have reached his office since February, Mr. Staples said"

A small number of those e-mails are worth pursuing, and we plan to do that in conjunction with the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade," he added. "When one door closes, another opens -- that's been the history of the town."

Friday, April 6, 2007

Remembering Vimy ..


"Not for love of battle, not for lust of conquest, not for greed of possessions, but for the cause of honour, to maintain solemn pledges, to uphold principles of liberty, to withstand forces that would convert the world into an armed camp; yea, in the very name of peace that we sought at any cost save that of dishonour, we have entered into this war."

- The Right Honourable Robert Laird Borden

Watch the ceremonies .... and remember them. I'll be thinking of my great-grandfathers who served with the CEF & British Army. And especially my great-great-uncle who gave his life in the dying days of the war, gassed liberating France.

May we never forget.

RELATED: Neo has a post about Vimy here ... Look for links to download attestation (sign-up) papers from any member of the CEF ... In the comments I included links to the "Lest we Forget" project and you can follow a regiment through the war.... My great-uncle's Attestation papers are below .... you'll notice he was illiterate (signed with an X) ... and I love this (from pg B) "not subject to fits"

Mark your calendar's

... for May 5th. This Fall's provincial election comes to the new LFLA riding. Well, not really, but that's when our new MPP will be elected.

The contenders include Brent Cameron, Randy Hillier and my personal pick for the job, Jay Brennan.

Jay is a former businessman from Smiths Falls, and is currently executive assistant to Lanark Carleton MPP Norm Sterling. Solid business and political experience... in my mind, a slam dunk.

Especially considering the competition. I'm predicting a Hillier win, but in my opinion this would be a mistake. This is a perfect example of what I mean ... when Hillier announced his candidacy, I came across this little tidbit ... I wasn't going to mention it, but (and this is important) he put this on his website, so he's got to be proud of it ....

In the recent past under Hillier's direction the Landowners have:

-Opposed Clean Water Act and threatened to 'detain' officials protecting water sources;

-Opposed the Greenbelt and protection of 1.8 million acres of green space;

-Shot a deer dead, named it Leona (after then Environment Minister Leona Dombrowsky), then e-mailed graphic photos to the Premier and Minister of Natural Resources David Ramsay;

-"Pushed a police officer with a front-end loader, and almost dropped its bucket on the officer's head." (Ottawa Citizen, March 24, 2006);

-Opposed meat inspections and try to sell uninspected meat;

-Decried government support of "Quebec, Native, Arts, Homosexual, Urban and Multi cultures" while "stifling, suffocating and controlling... independent rural culture".

Is this really who the people of our area want representing them in the Provincial Legislature ?

Ummmm ... No Thanks.

One more reason not to nominate Hillier ... NEVER elect the guy the other side wants to win !!

In the end, I hope he gets the nomination. If so, he's guaranteed a seat. And with Hillier having a seat, we're all guaranteed a few good laughs. The man is just not a carny, he's the whole damn carnival.

You wouldn't have to worry about such things ..

.... if you don't act like a skank.

Long waits, hassles at sex clinic
Capital xtra

It feels like a tongue twister to say what I'm there for: STI testing.

I feel like I've managed my sexual health risks well in the past, but that doesn't mean I'm not freaked out.

A month-long wait before an appointment plus three weeks waiting for results: who has the willpower to wait almost eight weeks when the urge strikes?

I'm just a little more concerned about the year it takes to get knee replacement surgery.

It highlights a simple fact: if ever there was a health service that should be administered quickly in a comfortable environment, it should be this one.

I'm thinkin' there are lots of troubles with our health care system to deal with before I worry too much about this one.

Pay for this kind of service yourself.


The battle has been lost ... Time for us to stop focusing on Hershey, and find an alternative.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Happy Hershey employee's

... and they're not in Mexico or India.

"It's almost Hersheypark happy in there"

Why, you may ask ???

Two words: Voluntary severance.

"For the most part, I think the people are very happy with what they're getting,"

Richard Stichler, 52, said the deal is good enough for him. He has 35 years at the plant, having started at 17. Single, with a daughter who graduated from college, he can work until the end of 2009 and collect the extra four years he believes the company is offering.

"I think I should be pretty well set," he said.

Even the company is happy .... with themselves.

LeRoy Zimmerman, chairman of The Hershey Trust, said the trust hopes all workers will be included in early retirement plans.

"I anticipated that they would hopefully be happy, because an [early retirement package] being offered to hourly employees is somewhat out of the ordinary," he said.

"And I would hope they recognize that, notwithstanding the hardship that these things cause to families."

The Big Meeting is set to begin anytime now in Ottawa, let's hope at the very least a good package is offered to the Smiths Falls employees.

RELATED: First official word that some other companies have been looking at the plant.

Smiths Falls Mayor Dennis Staples says other company’s have expressed interest in the plant. He says keeping jobs in town is the bottom line and he remains optimistic because the community has a lot of great ideas, in addition to a valuable work force.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Hershey Update

So ... The Big Meeting is on Thursday .... I'm eternally hopeful, but I have a funny feeling that we are going to hear a final closing date. Hershey met with the union in Toronto last week & told them the decision was final. The union presented a 5-year agreement for consideration.

Updated Apr 4/07 0930: More details on the meeting tomorrow .... don't be expecting any great news:

In a brief statement issued yesterday, Hershey spokesman Kirk Saville didn't offer many details about the meeting.

"We are focused on working with government and community leaders to assist our employees and the community with this transition," Saville said. "Beyond this, I don't have any details to share about the meeting."

Last Friday the Chocolate Maker's union ratified a deal, resulting in 650 layoffs in the two unionized plants in PA. 250 more announced today at the non-unionized plant.

Hershey announces India acquisition & product introduction.

Kirk Saville, a spokesman for Hershey's, said that the Indian joint venture doesn't have any impact on Hershey jobs in the U.S.


With unspectacular U.S. sales growth and more stateside layoffs on the horizon, Hershey is pinning its hopes that people in Asia will develop a liking for what a long-ago ad campaign called "The Great American Chocolate Bar".

Check this out ... Hershey's pissing people off in India already. Those guys really are smart...

Hershey leaves Amul with bitter taste.

“Hershey approached us with the proposal because they needed us more than we needed them. It is certainly not our loss. Whatever has happened, has happened for the good.” A senior Amul official, who did not wish to be quoted, was more blunt, “Hershey’s value system appears to be flawed"

RELATED: An opinion piece on Richard Lenny's performance :(

" A company can double profits with stagnant sales in a couple of ways. One way -- the Lenny way -- is to find efficiencies, increase productivity and fire people. That method can't work forever."

Rural Ottawa High Speed

When it was announced last week that the City of Ottawa decided to go with Barrett it struck me as odd that they would choose a completely new provider over 2 other bidders with existing networks. These networks would likely only require a few improvements to provide seamless coverage, thus giving more bang for the taxpayer buck.

Storm Internet isn't takin' it laying down ..... In yesterday's Ottawa Business Journal, they let the City have it ....

"The unfortunate part is that it does create an unfair advantage," Mr. Williams said.

"Ultimately it's going to entrench a competitor in the heart of my territory. With the money the government has provided them, that is going to fuel their ability to compete, although that is not what the money was intended for. It's going to fuel their ability to throw money at what we have already done."

"We were in the process of expanding into the places that are affected and that's all been put on hold. I'm taking some grief for that because there are some people who were looking forward to it. But until I fully understand what the city is building through Barrett, I don't have a clear direction to take the company, at least with rural Ottawa," he said.

"Of course I'm concerned. But I know it wasn't the city's idea to give an unfair advantage to an alternate provider. We've been doing this all along without any support and we're still here. And we'll still be the guys doing it tomorrow."