Thursday, December 15

A Real Christmas Tree

Sorry, I just could not resist just one more of these rants...and to think, I even am including this from an email that is circulating around Cyberspace. Acknowledging these emails is not my regular habit, but this subject is one I truely believe upon.

Here goes...

It is not a Hanukkah bush,
it is not an Allah plant,
it is not a Holiday hedge.


Yes. CHRISTmas - CHRIST MASS, celebrating the Birth of Jesus Christ.

May God Bless those who are affended by this particular Blog...however I will not appologize and I will not wish you "Happy Holidays".

Merry Christmas to all, and to all, a good night.

Wednesday, December 14


More and more, it is fastly becoming difficult to decide which party is good for me. Reason: "believability, or unbelievingly".

To believe is to conceive, conceptualize, and or gestate how the leaders will hold true on the day after.

Martin promises the world on a plate to Canadians, from beefing up the military, health care improvements, and better day care. But can we believe him? Especially with the black cloud still hovering over him with the "Sponsorship Scandel". He was the Finance Minister during this time period and it is difficult to swallow that Martin, a top member of the "Old Boys Club", did not know any crocked dealings...not even one? Come on eh!

Happer talks from both sides of his face. Eight years ago, Harper praised "American conservative values, disparge[d] Canada as a "welfare state" and [said] the jobless aren't worried because they have generous benefits, could provide fresh ammunition to his critics." Today, during this election campaign, Harper has flip-flopped, as he has "attempted to distinguish himself from Bush Republicans since the election campaign began. Which Harper are we to believe? However, it must be noted that Harper does have a bag of goodie handouts, including getting rid of the GST, not supporting gay marriages, and helping seniors with a tax break on their private pension investments. Not bad, only if you can believe him.

Layton, the leader of the NDP says that "This election si an opportunity to settle the account between the citizens of Canada and the Liberaly Party...But after they've received what they deserve, what then?" Layton lays out his promises:
  • Taking power out of the hands of lobbyists;
  • Making key appointments on merit, not on political connections;
  • Improving freedom-of-information legislation;
  • Implementing strong whistleblower legislation;
  • Making MPs accountable to their electors when the switch parties by having by-elections when changing parties;
  • Improving accountability in financing leadership campaigns;
  • Changing Canada's federal electoral system to a mixed system combining constituency votes with proportional representation.
Wow, what a list Jack!

But, really, what the heck does Joe Blow give a howling hoot about the above rhetoric, we need real issues that the average citizen can grab and hang onto, a voting issue for the average person, not a list of stuff that is aimed towards the heads of unions and the heads of campaign fund raising; Jack, we need a list that affects the working person in Canada, and the working person who is not working.

Jack echoes the others, stating that "Quite simply, we committed to try and get something done in this Parliament for people." What is that Jack, pray tell? Here he sounds as the others: "That's what we've done. We proposed what we believe are tood ideas - on ehtics, the environment, pension protection, employment insurance." Boy, Jack sure knows that the 10 million Canadian Baby Boomers are beginning to retire in mass, and he is on board the band wagon.

The bottom line, the Old Boy's Club has certainly done its demographic homework, but I am still skeptical, more so than ever before. This is the first election whereby I am still undecided...I do hope I do not remain on the fence, especially in this extreme winter wonderland. Come boys, give me something I can grab, something I can really believe, and something that will make me stand up and scream my vote for your party.

Tuesday, December 13

Twas the Night Before a Political Correct Holiday

You Have Heard It All, by now...

BUT, wait, listen to this message ONLY if you believe in: CLICK THE LIST:

Please click on the above link, you deserve to see the "Rest of the Story".
"...and to all, a good night."

Rated for all ages, races, and of course SANTA.

Thursday, December 8

The First Day of the Rest of My Life

The Final Ride
Has Come and Gone

As I look outside my window tonight I see the weatherman's report is a good one. Ten centimeters of the white stuff is to fall by morning. The snow is coming down as if a winter postcard has come alive, offering a Christmas a chance to become as it should, a white one.

This decision I make is one that has been planned for the past, almost five years and one that was not to happen until the New Year of 2006, however I look to the outside now, hesitating for only a moment to reflect on a 34 year career with CN Rail - a very long and testing time, especially the past few years with the Americanized management style infiltrating our lives, and now I see only freedom, the same sensation a prisoner must feel on the eve of his release from a lifetime behind bars.

As I write, the snow is forever falling so gently upon the ground, white and beautiful - I can see that now.

Yes, of course there were some very good times, great guys to work with for the most part, and tons of old memories from long ago. But this is all in the past now, as I move on to my new life...a life that holds no bars. Freedom is now my order of the day, days to do as I please, the things I have only dreamed of doing are now at my beckoning quest. An ideal come true; it is a paragon of my new reality and one that will follow me into my new future. No one knows of what the future may hold, one can only dream to make things come true...

This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
- Shakespeare-Hamlet

As does "the wind sets into the shoulder of your sail," at times, I too am set to move on, and with my final decision to end what has been a part of my life for so many, many, long years, and start anew. Tomorrow, I intend to resign from CN Rail, and with CN form 92 in hand, one which I have carried in my coat pocket for the past while, the same offers freedom, I will walk out from that place with a great sense of relief that I am not tied to CN Rail anymore. Tomorrow has now come, the clock has ticked itself past twelve, and I fear not the phone ringing oh so loudly anymore.

The resignation form itself is typical of CN Rail, a paradigm of an epitome of heartlessness; it is stark and to the point, standing without feeling of a distinct resolution of fact...after the name rank and serial number comes the wording: "Voluntarily resign from the service of the Canadian National Railway Company"...strange wording for which the CEO, Hunter Harrison has told employees they are not to use the word "Canadian" when conducting company business, but that is not my concern anymore...the battle is now over and the sun shines brightly overhead. No, my concerns of railway issues are history, one that is best left behind like dust in the wind.

Where life leads me now is subject to imagination and vision wherein I will take time out to reflect and project my life. I look forward, with a smile, to the "First Day of the Rest of My Life". and I thank God I have made it this far, as many I have known did not.

Now I can truly say, without thought: Carpe Diem.

Adios y buena suerte a todos usted Railroaders, ha sido una experiencia no pronto olvidado, y mi dios bendice...



To Do or Not To Do

Known Fact: You will not live forever LOL.

Yes of course, the security of a company pension plan is a nice blanket, especially if you live for many years and the plan keeps its head above water. Although, some
plans, such as is mine, do not cover medical health benefits, therefore there is not much incentive to stay in the plan, other than the proverbial warm blanket that goes cold once you and your spouse die, and the money reverts back to your employer who as had money with your money, even while doling out your monthly pension cheque.

BUYER BEWARE: Upon retirement members are required to either buy into a restricted group health care plan
or search one out for themselves. If you die, 40% to 50% of YOUR money vanishes and your spouse and estate never does see that money, it goes back into the company pension plan pot. If both you and your spouse die, well the money is pro-rated of course to the person's age of 65. This all can become very complicated and you should seek out professional advice, several different opinions is a good idea.

But, what about someone who does not want to belong to the company pension plan and wants their money to continue long after they are gone? Say, a person who does not want the company to reap the benefits of a lifelong savings by employees who have faithfully contributed to the pension plan. Here lies a gold mine of wealth...figure it out.

If a company has a pension plan that is stable and obviously making money, how is it that they can pay out a monthly cheque to pensioners and still make money? The answer is simple: THEY MAKE MONEY ON YOUR MONEY, otherwise they would not be still in the business of doling out monthly cheques, now would they?

One thing to remember is that you have the legal right to know how much money your personal investing into the pension plan is generating...that is the commuted value. If you find the people handling your pension money giving you a difficult time in forwarding your requested numbers, remember that you have the legal right to request the same and simply state this in their infamous VOICE MAIL system.

Here are a few points to ponder when making plans to decide whether to stay with the company pension plan or run with your money:
One other note of mention here, is that over the past 4 1/2 years of requesting these numbers, in the past few months I have personally found the pension plan holder to be very difficult to get any information. They all seem to have switched to a very high tech VOICE MAIL, wherein they usually do not answer. So, it will take a lot of persistence on your part to wrangle the numbers out from not give up, and do not rely on what your co-worker says he/she received...everyone is different in this game, everyone's numbers are different due to the nature of the beast. Remember, your best plan of attack is to plan your retirement early...
"By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail." (Benjamin Franklin)

Good luck out there, which ever way you may travel...
...and beware of those Carp Diemers!!!

Wednesday, December 7


Everyone knows it is happening...But Do You?

It involves those shoppers who take extreme advantage of the 30-day return policy most stores carry. For instance, two couples are going on a car trip with two vehicles. The one couple purchases an expensive set of walkie-talkies and away the go. They gab between the two vehicles all the way to Florida and back, noting how well the gadgets work. Upon return to their home town they stop by the store and return the said walkie-talkies stating some lame excuse for not wanting the product. Sound familiar?

But there is another type of scam that goes bad for the customer, at least for the first customer, yet good for the observant customer who follows behind. Have you ever seen someone checking out the old phone booth coin slots just by chance to catch someone's leftover change? I know, phone booths have become passe with the advent of cell phones, but my point is worth reading further...

According to a Zher's employee, one who wishes to remain annonomous, said "you would not believe the number of people who leave their cash behind and never return for it."

"It happens every day", she said.

Here is the scan your groceries, pay by debit or credit card and the machine nicely asks you if you want any extra cash...many say "sure" and push the button for an extra $20, $40, $60 or more. The machine then tells them to get their receipt and take their bags. The shopper, for the most part in a mad rush, grabs the bags and kids and heads on out from the store, dumps the bags into the truck of their car, and drives home and puts away the groceries...what is wrong with this picture?

The customer forgot to grab their cash from the bottom slot of the machine, yet an observant shopper next in line scoops up the cash and smiles.

"Have a nice day eh?"

Thursday, December 1

A Microsoft SCAM?

Monopoly Microsoft Attacks Again

Let's face it, goggle is gaining ground by the minute with new and FREE programs, Firefox browser is OUTDOING Microsoft Destroyer browser by miles, and the Outsourcing people are giving us FREE programs that are the same as the programs Microsoft offers at extremely high prices.

So, what does this all add up to?


We cannot turn our computers on without some sort of horrendous hazard warning from Microsoft telling us we must download the recent patch or else face computer doom. Well, I for one am sick and tired of all this hoopla for Microsoft, especially considering the mere fact that Mircrosoft is soon to release its new operating system: VISTA, one that is supposed to end all hacker attacks.

And if you believe this, well how about some land in New Orleans?

PCWorld posted a warning notice yesterday that explains how Microsoft has failed us again. We all know that Microsoft only issues their patches on Tuesdays...However this new situation where hackers have "posted a sample of code that could be used to attack a Windows machine that has not been updated with the most recent Microsoft security patches" (

If you think about it, Microsoft could be the hacker here, forcing people into believing that in their best computer efforts, the all new VISTA is a must have...For this guy I am switching over to Linux next week and I will report my progress.

I am joining the millions out there, including IBM, Ontario School Board, and hundreds of companies who have made the switch from Micromesssoft products to a completely free and proven most efficient system: Linux.