Saturday, June 30, 2007

This man ....

...was born in Belfast in 1789. Somewhere around 1805 made his way to Glasgow. There he married and had the first of four children. In April 1820, driven by poverty and a bleak future, he and his young family took a very bold step and decided to make their way to the "new country". They boarded the good ship Commerce and a fortnight later landed at the Port of Prescott.

From there, they made their way up a newly formed trail to the wilderness of Northern Lanark County. For his efforts and loyalty, he received 50 acres of scrub bush from HMTK George V to build a new life. In the ensuing years he managed to acquire 500 acres from other settlers from the Lanarkshire area who "gave up" and went to greener pastures (namely the US & western provinces). So successful was he that the road leading into said property bears his surname.

Now, given that this man is my 3rd great-grandfather ....I'm wondering why I'm not considered native. There was nothing on this granted land ... nothing for miles around. Native sightings in the area were very rare. We know this as encounters with the "red man" were well documented, as the "society settlers" were deathly afraid of them after hearing stories of atrocities committed against settlers in the American mid-west.

With this in mind, I'm staking my own claim. Right here .... right now.

I even have the paperwork to support my claim. I hold the land grant which states that the land was to remain with "his heirs and successors forever". Given that I am his only male successor still breathing, I figure it's mine. And I want it back. I don't care what has happened in the ensuing two centuries with this property.... My family had a deal with the Crown... somebody screwed me.

Sounds ridiculous, right ??

So does this.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Impaired drivers making their mark

in a big way in Kingston last week.

A provincial police vehicle was struck by an impaired driver's vehicle Thursday.

The unmarked Tactics and Rescue Unit vehicle was stopped at the Odessa off-ramp from Highway 401 when it was rear-ended by a Chrysler Neon exiting the highway.

The driver was charged with impaired driving, careless driving, driving with open liquor and having liquor readily available. No one was injured.


A 29-year-old Newburgh man faces impaired driving charges after a pickup truck smashed into a house in Stone Mills Township early yesterday.

Napanee OPP said the red 2004 Ford F150 pick-up hit a ditch, then a fence and then a wood pile before slamming into the house on Lake Road around 2:20 a.m.

The driver was arrested at the scene. Nobody was hurt.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Some more shots

from last Monday morning.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

A controversy of Olympic proportions

Should there be an boycott of the summer games in Beijing ?

"If Israel will not speak out, it will be very hard to answer the question, why, when people were being killed by Nazis, the world did not speak about it"

So says Ottawa's Rabbi Dr. Reuven Bulka in an interview with Irish media.

He said that the issue of organ harvesting in China from live Falun Gong practitioners is "the most important problem today."

China's organ transplant website clearly labels the price for its wares: one liver costs between $98,000 to $130,000; while one kidney is sold at $62,000; $130,000 to $150,000 for a heart and $30,000 for a cornea.

Is cheap manufactured goods reason enough to keep trading with this barbaric bunch ?

I think not.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

From poop to power

An innovative electrical engineer turned local dairy farmer is generating the better part of a Megawatt of power a day from manure.

Novel here but common in their Swiss homeland, the Klaesis' system is one of Ontario's first manure digesters generating electricity to the grid through the net metering program ... and that's after they've turned on two homesteads and their farm buildings.

Their anaerobic digester generates 750 kilowatt hours of electricity daily, enough to power 30 homes. The brothers' hydro bill has shrunk from $2,500 to $30 per month, which is the service fee Hydro One invoices whether electricity is used or not.

".....encountered regulatory roadblocks and wonders why, considering that in Europe thousands of digesters are routinely installed and are looked upon as a sound farm practice."

Manure digesters ... garbage gasification ... more use of wind energy. Maybe those coal plants could have been shut down ....

Yet another failure for Dolt and crew.

"Hot Chocolate"

Consumed by unsuspecting high school students in Hamilton.

An alert principal intercepted 1,500 Hershey Peanut Butter Cups potentially contaminated by salmonella which flooded a Hamilton high school Tuesday.

The bars -- identified as Hershey products recalled in November and believed stolen from a recycler -- were brought to Mountain Secondary School by students who found them in a dumpster behind a closed variety store nearby.

"We saw one student with a peanut butter cup, then another and another and then one fellow with a box of six," McCulloch said, adding the student told her others had found them in a dumpster. "I realized everyone coming down the hall had them."

McCulloch, who likes chocolate herself, got on the school's PA system and told Mountain's 325 students to bring the bars to her office. In minutes students turned in 1,500 bars. Some students had eaten theirs but there have been no reports of illness.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Taking a bite ....

and committing several crimes.

Close call for a Kingston copper.

Weir is said to have grabbed the woman by the back of the neck with his left hand to restrain her against the wall and put his right hand on the wall. His arm was close to the woman's head.

Police said the woman then swung her head and bit into Weir's forearm. He pulled the arm away. The bite didn't break the skin, but left a red mark.

"The accused is HIV positive and is fully aware of her illness," police said in a statement.

Help wanted ...

Good pay, lousy(if any at all can be had) living conditions.

France's version of CNN highlights the economic boom in Alberta .... I had no idea it was this bad in Fort McMoney ....

To fill job vacancies, Canada is now looking to boost the number of temporary worker permits issued for Alberta's booming oil sands industry, and is aggressively recruiting foreign workers in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. park their own mobile homes in a dirt field -- about 865 US dollars monthly.

....the campground is a bargain compared to the cost of renting an apartment in Fort McMurray, which, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing, boasts the highest average rental costs in the country -- up to 3,500 US dollars per month.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Nice legs !!!

At Chrysler Park Marina this morning a Great Blue Heron dropped in for a visit ..

Great legs ... and an impressive wingspan too ...

Shooting "on location" in Smiths Falls ...

The latest episode of the "Trailer Park Boys" !!!

Town police arrested four people Thursday on drug trafficking charges in connection with a tip about drug dealing at the Victoria Park Campground.

Officers were alerted in early June about alleged drug trafficking at a trailer on the site, police said.

Police searched the trailer around 10 p.m. and found 240 grams of marijuana, said Sergeant Frank Westerlaken.

They also seized $2,000 in cash, the house trailer and a car, he said.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

But ... What

will he do .... for them.

Steve Sullivan, 36, has been hired on a three-year term as the first federal ombudsman for victims of crime.

For starters ... I'd like to see a whole lot less customers.

That means locking up habitual offenders for good. Like this guy. Or this one. 85 ... yep .... 85 convictions. The latest being a 13 year old boy.

What does it take ... will we finally give up on this sack 'o' crap at 100 ???

A Father's Day tradition

... in our abode is to head out for brunch at the Lombardy Hall. A great meal, great company and supporting a good cause (the agricultural society).... all at the same time.

My advice: go for breakfast... it gets really busy later on.

Still on his radar ...

John Tory hasn't forgotten about us here in "the Falls" .... in pre-election campaigning yesterday he said .....

"It is quite clear that Mr. McGuinty neither understands nor respects small business," said Tory. "His government steadily adds to their tax and regulatory burden."

Tory also pointed to 140,000 manufacturing job losses across the province since 2005, citing layoffs at local industries including the Hershey plant in Smiths Falls.

Tory blasted the Liberals for years of tax increases, calling for the elimination of "the unfair, regressive health tax," which he labelled the biggest single tax hike in the history of the province.

I'm hearing through the proverbial grapevine that "our guardian angels" surplused 30 more positions last week out at Rideau Regional Center last week.

No word on how the local economy is supposed to replace the "million $$ plus" annually in lost wages, from that hit alone.

There has got to be more to this story ...

A man is recovering in hospital in stable condition after being shot in the stomach during a violent carjacking on the shoulder of Highway 401 near St. Hillaire Road in Quinte West early yesterday.

According to witnesses, a black Ford Taurus pulled over for another vehicle, which was described as resembling a police cruiser.

"I think... they thought was a police car," one witness said. "And when they pulled over, a big black guy got out of the passenger side - he had long dread hair - he told him [the driver] to get out of the car, he shot him in the stomach and they took off with their car, which was a black Taurus."

Let me get this straight ...

Break a child's ribs, arm and leg .... you get community custody.

If you happen to be a mentally ill comedian ... and "criminally harass" your wife ... well ... you spend TWO YEARS in jail (ie: not in hospital receiving treatment) awaiting trial.

Seems like the justice system fails everyone that comes into contact with it ... except those who make their living from it, I guess.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Because every Ontarian needs to know this

.... sadly too few will.

"A Madoc man who attacked a four-week-old girl, crushing eight of the infant's ribs and breaking an arm and a leg was sentenced to 18 months in community custody earlier this week.

That's thug-hugger justice for ya .... Beat a baby senseless and you don't even get provincial jail time.

Should be national news but is found only in the Belleville media .... brought to you via Halls of Macadamia.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

An event better suited ...

.. for late October.

Queen's biology brings out the dead; Anatomy museum bares all at open house

The Museum of Human Anatomy has more than 1,000 specimens, including everything from full skeletons to organs and limbs, all carefully preserved and displayed with note cards labelling the various muscles and bones.

The museum is set up to acclimatize people, with lower limbs at the front of the room and more sensitive specimens - such as human faces - farther back. Pang said the hands and faces are generally the most unnerving sight for first-time visitors to the museum.

How much are taxpayers ...

.. on the hook for this one.

The traditional excuses for dropped or interrupted cellphone calls - atmospheric disturbances, high humidity and heavy vegetation - might not be entirely accurate, a Queen's University professor suggests.

Mathematics and statistics Prof. David Thomson says that solar activity is to blame.

Until researchers better understand how solar energy's effects work, he said, there's not much anyone can do to prevent the dropped calls.

I'd love to hear what he plans to do about it. Quick...

....somebody get this guy a real job.

The Sudbury moonscape ...

For those who missed the story when it broke in January .... I'll bring your attention to it. Rush Limbaugh was talking about it again today.

For me, it seems that soooo much of the environmental movement is completely contradictory.

For example: We are encouraged to recycle advertising flyers ... but to me the process (read: chemicals) of removing the ink from the paper to be re-used seems to be much more detrimental to the environment than planting a few extra CO2 digesting trees.

Here is one I never saw coming:

When you pool together all the combined energy it takes to drive and build a Toyota Prius, the flagship car of energy fanatics, it takes almost 50 percent more energy than a Hummer - the Prius’s arch nemesis.

You think that's bad ... the article draws attention to the damage DONE to Sudbury and area ...

...the Prius is partly driven by a battery which contains nickel. The nickel is mined and smelted at a plant in Sudbury, Ontario. This plant has caused so much environmental damage to the surrounding environment that NASA has used the ‘dead zone’ around the plant to test moon rovers.

If you need proof .... check out the Google satellite image. Then check out the close up of the mine ...

Monday, June 11, 2007

Sunset over the city ...

Thursday evening

Think the gangs in TO are bad ?

You ain't seen nothin' yet.

In the past year, 30 Chicago public school children have been killed on the streets, largely because of gang warfare.

The mindset:

They introduced me to members of the Vice Lords, a well-established gang that had recently been disrespected by another gang. Someone had smashed-out the window of their car.

"We were ready to kill someone," said Rio.

"You're gonna shoot a kid cause he kicks out your window?" I asked.

"I ain't gonna say necessarily kill him," answered Jim, another Vice Lord, "But you gonna mess somebody up."

I asked: "What do you get out of it if he's dead?"

"Relief," Jim answered. "No one else will kick out the windows thinking they're gonna get away with it.

I'm glad I live in Hicksville .... Neo is too. He got.... while the gettin' was good.

"Now, I won't presume to speak for anyone else in Hastings & Prince Edward County... but in my neighbourhood, there is absolutely no evidence of an epidemic of Mongol-like hordes of disaffected youth running around shooting their peers."

I'm sure every schoolchild in the Ottawa Valley

for the last thirty years came here.

Come September .... it's gone. Guess it will have to be a day trip this summer with the kiddies.

Storyland, an Ottawa Valley family theme park, has announced that 2007 will be its final season.

In addition to continuing to attract first-time visitors, Storyland is looking forward to welcoming back and sharing stories with many of its enthusiastic alumni.

Mr. Berkhout said, "For many, many people, Storyland is much more than a place to visit. It is a feeling of childhood that lives in their family photo albums, memories and dreams."

Word to the wise ...

When you are carrying 38 kgs of pot in your car ......

Don't speed.

It's amazing how many they catch that way.

21st century child

At the camp fire this weekend, talk turned to Googling your name and seeing what your namesake(s) might have accomplished. My 8 year old was intrigued and asked if we could do hers. I told her that since she had an uncommon first and last name there was unlikely to be any matches....

I ate those words.

A search revealed none other than 2 hits .... for her. School accomplishments.


Smiths Falls light rail ...

The Ottawa Business Journal loves the idea.

Most importantly, it involves working with VIA Rail to use existing rail lines to begin commuter services from points as far away as Smiths Falls in the west and Alexandria in the east within the next three years.

A very important question ...

The cooperation of the passenger rail service is critical to the recommendations contained in last week's report. Mr. Collenette confirmed VIA has already said it is "open" to sitting down with the City of Ottawa. Why wasn't VIA engaged in the dialogue for the old light rail plan?

I'm back !

Summer storms = Mike working. That's just the way it is.

This year ... it's gonna be worse.

Why ?

The answer is ..... 50 bucks worth of copper.

".... the thefts may come at a high cost because thieves are putting the public at risk by removing the copper.

"The money [lost] is one thing, but the real issue here we're trying to address is that this is leaving transformer and distribution stations unsafe and it could actually impact the liability of stations if equipment fails because the grounds aren't there," he said. "

Thursday, June 7, 2007

"Commuter rail lifeline"

Yesterday the Ottawa media was saying 2037 .... I saw 2017 in the report The Sun is reporting that a commuter rail service for Smiths Falls will be up and running in 3 years time. Great news.

"We're working aggressively to find replacement opportunities for the Hershey situation and Rideau Regional," said Smiths Falls Mayor Dennis Staples. "But given the fact that we will have people affected by job loss, and the opportunity for employment in the nation's capital, the opportunity for commuter rail travel makes it much more affordable and attractive for those individuals who want to stay in Smiths Falls and work in Ottawa."

He's already (Staples) had extensive discussions with Ottawa Mayor Larry O'Brien and task force chair David Collenette, and recently met with VIA Rail president Paul Cote to discuss using the stretch of track between Smiths Falls and Barrhaven, a commute of less than 30 minutes.

See ... Mayor Staples has been working hard on this .... but you wouldn't know it from The Record News..... but half a sentence they have devoted to the topic. Oh, and one letter to the editor that shares my view that this is the best hope we have. You need only look to Kemptville and Carleton Place to see what an efficent transportation link can do.

Now ... if we could get somebody from Montague to push for a stop at Boundary Road to serve a big subdivision out there .... full of Mounties. Big, expensive houses.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

A common sense light rail plan

The mayors task force on transportation has released a well thought out plan for commuter rail transport for the City of Ottawa .... and it includes a link from Smiths Falls by 2017 !!! I'll be writing more on this later but for now the report can be downloaded here. (2.5 MB, even do-able on dial-up)

In the City of Ottawa ....

.... it's quite ok to smoke crack. Heck, they'll even give you the pipe.

Don't you dare do this though .... you WILL be arrested.

"The fact was, the field wasn't going to get any better by staring at it."

Get the lead out ....

More than one third of Renfrew and Smiths Falls homes tested in a provincially mandated drinking water survey this month had lead levels above the provincial limit

Of the 20 homes tested in Smiths Falls, eight had lead levels above 0.010 parts per million, the level the province considers safe.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Population explosion

Three years ago, a pair of geese took up residence on "my lake".
With this years goslings, we're up to 10. Sunday afternoon they treated us to a visit at the end of the dock.... more pics in the Photo Album.

Has Jerry Springer ....

been casting in Eastern Ontario ?

Put this one in the Jerry Springer file.

Provincial police have arrested a Sharbot Lake woman over a series of bizarre incidents that occurred between May 25 and 27.

The story begins when a man the woman had dated about three times decided it was time the two saw other people. That didn't sit well with the spurned woman, who started driving by the man's home relentlessly.

At one point, police said, one of the duo threw a beer bottle at the group of three, but missed. Instead, the bottle hit a security guard and sent him to hospital.

The next night in Belleville, the two followed the man to a club. One tossed a beer bottle and another kneed a woman in the face, sending her to hospital with a broken nose, police said.

The women then followed the man to Arden where they allegedly vandalized a pick-up truck to the tune of $4,000 worth of damages.

Elecshun time in the hundred acre wood

Sheer genius ... A must read.

"Hmmmm," thought McGuinty The Pooh to himself. "I am a Premier of Very Little Brain,"

I wonder just how many he will catch in the trap ?

Fathers day is coming ...

can somebody tell my wife i'd like one of these ;-)

"To help stamp out carpal tunnel syndrome, new mouse pads have been devised to assist men in their computer operations."

h/t to another wonder woman.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Don't worry ...

An update to this post.

cuz according to the defence ....

"there’s no evidence supporting the view that McCallum is a sexual sadist"

That's what the defence qua.. errr .. I mean... shrink contends.

You be the judge.... Is this sadism ?

McCallum’s first victim, when he was 19, was a 15-year-old girl he raped after beating her to the point that two of her teeth were punched out and her cheekbone and nose were fractured. Satterberg said McCallum denies finding violence sexually exciting, however.

He also suggested there were other factors that caused him to become sexually excited on that occasion.

“I believe she became naked at some point,” he told the court, and “he thought he was teaching her a lesson.”

Ahhh ... the old "blame the victim" defence... I thought these guys weren't allowed to use that one anymore ??

He also disputed Richardson’s suggestion that McCallum’s second victim, a 55-year-old grandmother and cancer survivor, was subjected to gratuitous violence and rejected the Crown’s characterization of her rape as “brutal.”

Emergency services found the woman afterward with blood running down her legs and she required surgery to repair a laceration to her vagina.

Richardson then asked him about McCallum’s third victim, a 47-year-old woman with cerebral palsy who was attacked by McCallum just two months after the 55-year-old.

She was ambushed at 2 a.m., returning from the laundry room of her apartment building.

Her clothes were literally torn off. She was suffocated with a pillow, then gagged with the pillow case and sodomized.

Satterberg disputed Richardson’s contention – and Dr. Bradford’s – that the suffocation and sodomy both pointed to sexual sadism.

He suggested that the anal sex might simply reflect the behaviour of a former convict or, given that McCallum doesn’t have a pattern of forcing anal intercourse, it could have been accidental.

Too bad we don't have a three strikes law.

Occupational hazard of the gross kind

Province looks to protect guards; Legislation could force inmates to submit to blood tests

"A provincial law that could force people who spit at or spatter their bodily fluids on others to submit to blood tests will apply to all federal and provincial prison guards, says a spokeswoman for Community Safety and Correctional Services Minister Monte Kwinter."

Kwinter has previously specifically named police officers, emergency first responders and victims of crime as the people who will benefit from the law and has not spoken publicly about correctional officers.

A nice gesture ... but rather useless, i'll get to why later.

A close family member had an experience with this, after being exposed to an infected individual following an altercation. Infected ... but he had no idea with what.... and the "perp" wasn't talking.

So this leaves two choices :

1. Risk contracting god knows what ... worst case being HIV/AIDS.


2. Taking a regimen of pharmaceuticals not-so-affectionately known as the AIDS cocktail, with side effects similar to those suffered following chemotherapy. For a month.

What would you choose ?

My family member chose the cocktail and suffered greatly for it.

Back to the article .. I said that the law was basically useless ... wanna know why ?

Because the treatment needs to be delivered soon after the transmission of body fluids to be effective ... preferably within the hour.

HIV test results aren't delivered that fast .... so the catch 22 decision for the lucky recipient of the goo still has to be made.

What do the "thug-huggers" think of the new law ?

Craig Jones, acting executive director of the John Howard Society of Canada, said prison guard work is inherently dangerous and those who can't handle the stress of it shouldn't do it.

Jones suggested that the risk of contracting a communicable disease is one of the dangers of the job and said forcing inmates to take blood tests is punitive and constitutes harassment.

Would you expect anything less ?

In case you are wondering ... my family member made out ok and is infection free long after the one year danger period.

The perp ..... he's dead, but not from his HEP-C infection ... from his crack habit.

Good riddance.

Smiths Falls Montague Fly-in Breakfast

A visit by one of the aircraft largely responsible for the Allied win in the Battle of Britain... the Hawker Hurricane. Michael Potters' Spitfire was also supposed to drop in ... I missed it.

click to enlarge

Vital stats on the Hurricane ... according to Military Factory

Series Designation: Hawker Hurricane
Classification Type: Fighter / Ground Attack
AircraftContractor: Hawker Industries - UK
Country of Origin: Britain
Initial Year of Service: 1937
Crew / Accommodations: 1
Production Totals: 14231
Available Armament/ Munitions:8 x 7.7mm machine guns
Model-specific armaments also included: 2 x 500lb bombs, 6 x air-to-surface rockets, 12 x 7.7mm machine guns, 4 x 20mm cannons, 2 x 40mm cannons
Wing Span: 40 ft (12.19 m)
Overall Length: 31.4 ft (9.57 m)
Overall Height: 13 ft (4 m)
Overall Empty Weight: 4,982 lbs (2,260 kg)
Maximum Take-Off Weight: 6,447 lbs (2,924 kg)
Powerplant: 1 x Rolls-Royce Merlin III 12-cylinder liquid-cooled engine generating 1,030hp.
Maximum Speed: 318 mph (511 km/h)
Maximum Range: 460 miles (740 km)
Service Ceiling: 36,000 ft (10,970 m)
Rate of Climb: 2,520 ft/min (770 m/min)

Friday, June 1, 2007

In Grade 12 economics ....

I learned that a low Canadian dollar was very good news for exporters of goods and importers of tourism. It's simple ... the cheaper our dollar is in comparison to the greenback, the cheaper Canadian produced goods are. And when you could get $1.45 Canadian for every US $1 ... well .. you got a lot more purchasing power when you visit.

Sadly, our federal finance minister Jim Flaherty missed that lesson.

When I first saw the headline ...

Red hot dollar could be boon to Ontario; Could buoy sagging fortunes of province's manufacturers: Flaherty

my jaw dropped .... then I thought ... maybe there is an angle I hadn't thought of. Unfortunately by the time I was done reading .... ummm, well ... infuriated... comes to mind. At a Conservative fund raiser yesterday Mr. Flaherty said:

That (the rising dollar) means increasing purchasing power for the nation's manufacturers, who will be able to acquire more advanced technology and keep pace with emerging markets in countries like China and Brazil, said Flaherty.

"What we're seeing is a strength and a resilience among our manufacturers."

Strength and resilience ??? Does this guy read the local section of the Citizen ?? Did he somehow miss Chesterville's Nestle plant, Domtar AND Hershey ?? Did he miss the several thousand union demonstrators on Parliament Hill yesterday ... all of them worried sick about losing their jobs ??

"If you want to work in Canada today, there's lots of work," he(Mr. Flaherty) said.

Now when I hear that ... it says to me ... "If there is no work where you live ... move to Alberta." Some plan.

On the devastating impact an almost par dollar will have on American tourism to Canada ...

"What we need to do in Canada is to offer a quality tourism experience for people so they want to visit," he said.

To illustrate how utterly stupid this statement is ... I'm gonna tell you about a good friend of mine. He is from central PA, a hard working construction man who looks forward to nothing more that coming to this neck of the woods and taking in 2 weeks of fishing and friends. Cost for accommodations for 2 weeks, beer, food and other necessities .. $1500 CAD. So ... total cost to him 5 years ago in USD .. $1050 .. this year $1450. He doesn't want or need anymore of a "quality tourism experience" ...we already had it for him... he just can't afford it anymore. On the local front, given that we are losing the top tourist draw to the Town .. I'm wondering if Mr. Flaherty has any advise on how we can build on that ... and offer that elusive "quality tourism experience" .. at close to 50 % more expensive than it was just a few short years ago.

The biggest slap in the face ... is where this speech was given ... in Chesterville. Yep, Chesterville .... former home of Nestle the water tower says .... with Cornwall and Domtar to the south east and Hershey and Smiths Falls to the west... you know ... those bastions of "strength and resilience" in the manufacturing sector ... by my count close to 2000 manufacturing jobs gone between these three communities alone.

Forbes take today on the impact of the rising loonie ... with some basic math that maybe, just maybe, Mr. Flaherty can understand ...

Canada's manufacturing sector used to enjoy that the struggling currency made their goods less expensive in the U.S. and internationally. Now their return on investment is lower due to a less favorable currency conversion, and analysts predict some manufacturers could eventually be priced out of global markets.

"Contracts they put in place early in the year that they thought were worth a million dollars are now worth 10 percent less, so when they get paid, they're going to be paid a lot less than they contracted for," said Jayson Myers, senior vice president and chief economist at the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters.

"We've developed two economies in Canada," Myers said. "In Western Canada, you've got a booming oil and gas sector and a booming economy because of the dollar, but in Ontario and eastern Canada, it's really suffering because of weak economic activity due to the rising dollar."

So much for "strength and resilience", huh ?

Some days ...

I just love to come to work.

....And it'll be tough to beat today. First off, I started early this morning .... so i'm home free for the weekend now. Since I was up at sunrise, I had the opportunity to see this ...

Then ... I came here

And then in my inbox I read that my pension date with no penalty is seven years sooner than it was yesterday.

I think that calls for a pint (or two) ...