Saturday 20 December 2008

The newest family member.

This post certainly will fall into the "Up close and personal" side of me. And is mostly for the benefit of my family that is spread around the globe; Australia, Arizona, the Netherlands, Saudi and of course across Canada.

I am so happy with the new little man in my life. (see pic in previous entry)

I am very proud of my daughter who did an awesome job of dealing with labor for over 10 hours before deciding to try an epidural. Sadly even after 18 more hours of labor, the baby would just not come; he was head down, but not properly engaged. His heart failed several times in the last hours and it was very difficult to watch.

At about 11:55 AM the docs decided the only option was a C-section. At 12:11 PM he entered the world. I was not allowed in to the operating room, but once they found he was in perfect shape they brought him into the recovery room to meet me, he was only 10 minutes old!!!

I cannot begin to describe the feelings that overwhelmed me when I saw him. It was probably only 30 minutes before my daughter would appear. Those 30 minutes felt like an eternity. He was weighed, measured, poked and prodded; and he took it all in stride. He is one of the most alert and calmest babies I have ever seen.

While my instant love for him poured out; anxiety about my daughter continued to mount. Finally, dad arrived to tell me she was fine and would be in soon. When she was rolled in, we were able to share with her just how big the "little bundle of joy" was....

All 22.5 inches of him weighed in at 10 pounds 7.5 ounces. For the paternal grandparents in Australia, that is roughly 57.15 cms and 4.75 kilos.

M.. T... and new T..... I love you all very much and thank you for giving me the greatest Christmas gift I could ever envision.


We are grandparents ! !

Only have a couple of minutes to post.
Finally 10 days overdue and over 24 hours of labor we have our first grandchild.

A very beautiful, big and healthy boy. He is less than an hour old here.

I will post more details once the new mom and dad have been able to contact all of their friends.

:) :)

Wednesday 17 December 2008

Oxymoron of uniting separatists.

Alberta is fertile ground for spawning political parties and there is no shortage of ones that have a separatist leaning. To name a few; the Western Canada Concept, the Republic of Alberta, the Republic of Western Canada, the Alberta Independence Party, the Separation Party of Alberta, the Western Block Party and maybe one or two that I have missed. These cover both federal and provincial endeavors.

They have a couple things in common:

1) Generally it is the same perennial group of people trying to catch a wave of angry Albertans.
2) They are considered just extreme enough that it is difficult for the general public to take them seriously.

It is no secret I have a soft spot for these guys, however I have a stronger belief in Canada and would prefer Alberta strengthen its position within our country. So it is no surprise this has been the source of many heated discussions in our household.

It only took four short weeks of campaigning, when Cory ran as a SPA candidate, for me to realize the S pill is way too big for people to swallow. Sure others will point to surveys that say 20+ or 30+ percentage of Albertans are willing to discuss or explore independence, but the reality is they will never, en masse, support a party whose sole goal is separation and actually put an X on the ballot for such a party.

I have a strong belief that for those who want to pursue independence and educate other Albertans of the benefits; it should be done through an advocacy or lobby group. That group can then pressure the government of the day to put it forth on a referendum as per the Clarity Act.

When people ask me what they can do towards this goal I make two general suggestions.

1) Contact your MLA; determine their position or in the case of some parties, the party position. Also look at the parties platforms; do they have a position on the Clarity Act and referenda.

2) Direct them to the Alberta Agenda website, which is an off-shoot of the Alberta Residents League.

The ARL has been organized and operating for over six years. They have been successful in developing a network across the province. They actively advertise and educate Albertans on the advantages of the Alberta Agenda items. They have also dedicated a lot of time (and I suspect funds) in solid research of the Agenda items.

Which brings us to the newest kid on the block, the Western Business and Taxpayers Association who in their initial press release announced the; “Separatist Business and Taxpayers Association Created.” They started out saying they might just a group or they might morph into a party. Since then they seem to have dropped the party goal. Bouquets of Gray has done a superb job of following the developments.

I know many of the individuals who are on the WBTA board. I will not comment on their individual strengths or weaknesses, but I would like to call into question why they are trying to invent something that already exists with the Alberta Agenda group? Why not put their efforts behind something that is up and running?

As a CFO for a provincial party, the other thing I must really question is what they intend to do with the funds they raise. They say they will “… fund any and all who share our vision of a new nation.” From this and one of their other points it would appear they will be making funds available to candidates and/or parties. Which begs the question; why would one donate to them rather than directly to the candidate or party and receive the tax benefit of it?

The long and short of this is that we do have separatist leaning individuals in our province; they certainly are not a majority by any means. And until they can “unite” those who want to "separate", it is unlikely to get any traction.

Tuesday 2 December 2008

Hot off the press..........

Wildrose Alliance Says "No" to Federal Opposition Cabal

Calgary, December 2, 2008 - In light of the blatant power grab shaping up against the democratically-elected federal government, Wildrose Alliance Leader Paul Hinman is calling on Premier Stelmach to show leadership on behalf of Albertans and Canada to ensure the country stays strong and united.

"Premier Stelmach needs to serve notice that the formation of any governing coalition that requires support from the Bloc Quebecois, whose sole purpose is the break-up of Canada, will result in a complete withdrawal of Alberta from the Federal Transfer Payment Program," Hinman says. "Alberta cannot stand by and support with its tax dollars, opposition and separatist parties which conspire and coalesce for power and money."

"It's bad enough now that federal dollars are extorted from other areas of Canada so the BQ Party can further their agenda," Hinman says, "but to see the Liberals and NDP actually getting into bed with the separatists is unconscionable and not in Canada's best interest."

Hinman also emphasizes the fact that the timing of this blatantly political maneuvering couldn't be worse and will only continue to erode the confidence of Canadians and foreign investment in our economy.

Premier Stelmach must serve notice now that "as long as there's a government in Ottawa beholden to the separatists' agenda, our contributions to the federal coffers must stop. Alberta has been a major contributor to the success and strength of a united Canada." He asked the premier take the following actions immediately, before any confidence motion is brought forward in Ottawa:

1. Serve notice of Alberta's intent to withdraw from the current Federal Transfer Program.
2. Initiate measures for Alberta to begin collecting its own taxes;
3. Initiate discussions on a Regional Equalization Program involving the four Western Provinces;

"The Wildrose Alliance Party believes in a strong confederation. We also believe it is the strength of our communities and province that makes Canada strong." says Hinman. "We cannot support parties who enter into alliances for the purpose of gaining power with a divide and conquer strategy along with the BQ who desire to destroy our great nation."

The Wildrose Alliance leader calls upon our premier to stand up for Canada and Alberta by putting the governor general and the opposition parties on notice of our intent to pull out of the destructive, divisive, faulty formula Federal Transfer Program if a coalition government is formed with the BQ. Alberta will not stand by and watch our home and native land be shattered.

For more information, contact:
Paul Hinman
Wildrose Alliance leader
Phone: 403 393-2003


I would like to extend congratulations to my husband, Cory Morgan, on his recent appointment as the VP of Policy for the Wildrose Alliance.

He is no stranger to the politically arena and I can't help but think that the timing of this seems a bit serendipitous

Time for some fun with Stelmach

Feel free to caption this photo in the comments section...

Try to keep it clean... be creative.

Sunday 30 November 2008

Wildrose leader scores a win

November 30, 2008

Full column

Nope, it was the Alberta opposition party with no reps in the legislature that took home the golden drill bit.

Step up Wildrose Alliance Party chief Paul Hinman and accept your gong.

The reason why Ed Stelmach and the Alberta Tories did what they vowed never to do - and ditch a major part of the sacred new royalty framework - was not totally due to Hinman's needling. There was a lot of behind-the-scenes oilpatch arm-twisting too.

But when Stelmach's struggling Energy Minister Mel Knight announced he "remains confident that the NRF is the right plan over the long-term," then trimmed $1.8 billion from the take for conventional oil and gas wells, the political win went to the Wildrose Alliance.

Five days later, Knight was forced to make another "clarification" and roll back the implementation date from Jan. 1 to Nov. 19.

Stelmach claimed it was in response to the "global economic crisis and a slowdown in oil and gas drilling," even though the rig count at the time was up from November 2007.

Stelmach's response would be almost credible if Hinman hadn't stepped up his campaign three weeks earlier, demanding the premier not only cancel the royalty hikes, but scrap the $2-billion carbon capture and storage scheme.

Hinman calls it a "pipe dream."

"Now is not the time for the government to throw another wrench into the economy," the Wildrose Alliance leader spat.

And when the premier and his energy minister - who was always a reluctant passenger on the royalty express - blinked, Hinman issued another statement condemning the move as "too little too late."

Hinman called the Tory backdown "reactionary" and "policy-making on the fly."

He then demanded a "full retraction" of the framework and "full and open consultations" with the industry.

It's a long way from the Milk River Ridge to the legislature.

But the rancher from Welling was clearly savouring his victory last week.

"What these guys cannot understand," Hinman snapped, "capital is the easiest thing to move around the world.

"Had they left things alone we wouldn't be going into a recession right now," he continued.

Then he gave the premier this advice: "Recognize you did wrong, apologize for it and promise not to raise taxes again."

And the winner is ...

Friday 21 November 2008

96th Grey Cup Prediction

Just two more sleeps and the 96th Grey Cup will be decided. Of course so far as I am concerned there is only one possible outcome; the Stamps will take it. I will not go so far as to predict the exact score.

My other prediction is that I might not be able to watch the game. I may be called upon to fulfill my “Assistant Coach” duties and aid in the expansion of our “family” team.

Our first grandchild is not due for another two weeks, but there have been rumors and rumblings that he could arrive early. This of course would step up the “parent training” schedule.

Late yesterday these rumblings were confirmed by the team physician; who advised we should prepare for the rookie arrival which could come within the next 72 hours.

With this in mind I have secured an appropriate team ensemble for the new arrival.


Deliver the cup to Calgary and I will try to help deliver the Grey Cup baby.

Wednesday 5 November 2008

The Legislator's Pledge and Kyle Fawcett

I see my MLA, Kyle Fawcett has taken the "The Legislator's Pledge".

I particularily like point one of the pledge;

I will use some combination of my constituents' views and their interests in deciding how to vote on their behalf.

Some representatives believe that it's the role of the representative to judge for themselves what will best serve their constituents, while others believe that they should act as a mouthpiece for their constituents' views. Many have an approach that combines these two views. CURD believes that there is legitimacy to both views, and does not seek to impose one or the other on legislators; what we object to are representatives who substitute the dictates of their party's leader for any regard for their constituents.

While I highly doubt Premier Stelmach or the PC party whip would let him freely vote on any issue; I am looking forward to seeing how Kyle Fawcett votes on "Bill 208: Alberta Affordable Mortgage Protection Act."

Click here to see if your MLA has taken the pledge.

Saturday 1 November 2008

What exactly are they doing at city hall?

Are they using our money wisely? Are they, “walking the talk?

Without an independent audit and review; we are really only left with the propaganda they dispense to us. This is usually in the form of a multi-page glossy booklet that we pay for and receive in a timely fashion, just prior to our going to the polls.

This week though I received some insight, which is both independent and I will pass along to all taxpayers at zero cost.

Now my blog is but a baby in the blogosphere, I don’t get a huge amount of hits. Typically my visitors are my family, friends and online acquaintances. Occasionally when I am critical of the PC’s I get hits from the Legislature or as was the case during the election hits from my fellow candidates.

Generally these hits occur when I mention the names specific people or issues. Possibly they are googling by chance or more likely have a permanent search set up to find out what is being said about them. From my past (bad) internet experiences; I must agree it is a very good practice; especially for those “in” elected positions. Normally they only stay for a few minutes and move on, having realized I am just another online blogger.

My hope is that come the next civic election at least a few Calgarians are doing some research and that they stumble upon this entry.

If you read my entries on Oct. 30, you will know I made mention of a certain alderman. I posted it at approximately 12:30 PM. I somewhat expected to get a hit from the City of Calgary, especially if said alderman happened to have a google search set up.

Here is a screen shot of what I actually got.

Indeed it is a hit from the City of Calgary; but look at the visit length. This is truly a record for my blog. Over 23 hours!!

There is not enough information on this blog to take anyone nearly 24 hours to read it, nor is there anything that would keep anyone’s attention for that long. They did not come and go; as that would show as multiple visits. Also they only visited one page; the path does not show any other pages being viewed during that visit.

The only explanation is that they opened it, read it and didn’t close it until the following day. Specifically they opened it at 3:20 PM on Oct 30 (Thursday) and closed it at 2:30 PM on Oct 31. (Friday)

I find it very odd to keep a screen you have already read, open this long. Surely you would notice after a while and close it. Certainly you would notice it at days end or in the morning when you start your work day.

Which really brings us to the critically question; why is a computer at the City of Calgary being left to run for 24 hrs?

Aren’t they the ones telling us to turn off the lights, turn down the heat, use appliances during off peak hours, etc, etc.

This is truly the height of hypocrisy, from the City of Calgary’s own website under the Energy Challenge:

10 Things You Should Never Do!

Turning computers off at night when you leave produces an energy savings of 25%! Hard drives built in the early 1980's may have been sensitive to on/off switching, but today's models are not. In fact, it is best to turn off your computer if you will not be using it for more than half an hour.

That’s right the #1 thing we should never do; that wastes energy….
The City is DOING!!!

I don’t know about you, but I think it is time for the extremists in City Hall to get off their high horses about how the rest of us are managing our households and clean up their own FIRST.

To put it plain and simple start spending my tax dollars wisely before you come and ask me for more.

Thursday 30 October 2008

Must be a full moon

I seem to be offending forum posters all over the place.

Recently changed my avatar to this image....

... and a complaint has been raised that it is porn. I will bow to the moderators decision; but in the meantime .... What do you think?

Pincott's # 1 fan

Seems I touched a nerve with Mr. Muta, Brian Pincott's #1 fan from Auckland, New Zealand.

On the forum mentioned in my previous entry; he responded with these rather hot-headed comments at 3:20 PM:

"Wow, sorry, but your 'blog' is a complete joke. Way to twist the context of what I said into your own sad, delusional argument. Did you even ask me to explain what I meant when you decided to take what I said out of context and 'blog' it? ....No? Okay, then. Just letting the entire world know that you didn't do that. Top notch journalism right there, yup.

Also, you're quoting your significant other's blog? Laugh. Try to get a more unbiased, neutral observation of how you perceive Pincott's views. Your credibility goes down the drain right there when you not only quote blogs, but family members. Even you can figure that out. I would've expected more from you.

Oh yeah, the living wage thing: I doubt yuo even know what exactly he means by that, and if it is what you think it is, we already have a very popular version of it: it's called welfare.

Furthermore, the rest of your argument is pure speculation and delusional crap without any real facts to back any of it up. Not only is it funny because you 'quote' your own husband's blog as being solid fact, but you mention how Pincott "has covered" things since being office. Then, you go on to list Pincott's opinions and values, instead of documented actions, as the supporting evidence for your claims. This, in itself, is completely laughable.

I NEVER said I advocated everything Brian Pincott supports; the fact that you blindly ignore this leaves little, if any, credibility to the tripe you claim to pass off as substance on your 'blog'.

You conveniently forget to mention Pincott's views on urban sprawl, public transportation, inner city beautification, homelesness, arts funding, a zero waste policy... and on and on and on. How convenient it is that you choose to attack his other (and in scope, minor) platforms that pale in comparison to the ones that you conveniently missed. What a joke.

Perhaps you should have done a little more investigation into the context of the argument first before getting headstrong through your keyboard trigger-happiness. It is amazing you were once a 'politician'; seems you're better fit for a career writing in the Columns section of the Calgary Sun.”

Then not even 30 minutes later; obviously still seething, left this in my blog comment section.

“Amazing that your blog is consisted of such tripe. Way to construe an argument to fit your own twisted, delusional agenda. Perhaps you would have consulted me for clarification on my views on Pincott's platforms? ...No? Okay, just thought I'd like to bring that to the attention of this website.

In case people don't know, this 'blogger' took a viewpoint from a message board, and construed it into some kind of piece she calls an argument. Then, used her husband's blog to back her own up hypocritically attacking Pincott's values.

How convenient it is Jane attacks the platforms that pale in comparison to the rest of the platforms Pincott suggests. Urban sprawl, public transportation, affordable housing, homelesness, arts funding... the list goes on. But hey, Jane likes to attack organic composting. Laugh.

The rest of your blog is laughable at best, with no solid evidence to back anything up - except for a blog that your HUSBAND wrote. You attack opinions and values, and then give questionable responses - and opinions - yourself. I'm in no way a supporter of Pincott, but the way you've construed your blog with minimal research and factorial information the consistency of gelatin is laughable. A Grade One student could crap out better writing bits than this.

Amazing that you were once a politician. You'd be better suited for writing column pieces in the Calgary Sun. You know, the section that people use for cat litter.”

Oh... where to begin. Earlier in the day I was accused of being a politician; now I "once was".

Yes, I have quoted my husbands blog and yes, it is my biased opinion he did a good job of covering Brian Pincotts idiotic ideas.

Does Pincott have some good ideas? Yes, sadly they are few and far between and not the ones garnering the attention of residents of his ward or the local media.

Now if Muta was here in Calgary he could read the papers. Given he lives on the other side of the planet, I suggest he brush up on his google skills. Then again he says he is not a supporter... but boy he sure gets steamed when someone draws attention to Mr. Pincott's short-comings.

Now since Mr Muta is lacking in google ability and questions the validity of the Pincott list of accomplishments, here is the list with supporting "independent" evidence.

Brian Pincott wants to ban you from fertilizing your own lawn.

The great pesticide debate

City committee to vote on the phasing out of cosmetic pesticides on Wednesday

Emma Gilchrist, Calgary Herald
Published: Friday, June 20, 2008

Pincott, one of three aldermen who brought forward the proposal for a ban, questions the credibility of the Pest Management Regulatory Agency.
Pincoott concedes the public will have to adjust.
"There will be some dandelions on sports fields," he says. "But that has never hurt anybody."

Brian Pincott wants to ban backyard fire pits.

Aldermen Agree To Study Permits For Firepits
CHQR Newsroom

But Alderman Brian Pincott says maybe the city should look at banning them altogether.

Brian Pincott wants to ban household pesticide use.

Ok, I admit this is a duplicate; see #1 above.

Brian Pincott wants to violate your property rights by banning you from cutting trees and bushes on your own property.

Rick Bell
Wed, July 30, 2008

What is even scarier is Druh the Shrew and a few of the other aldermen, who were no doubt always the kids ready to tattle to get attention, are winning in their agenda to sweat the small stuff and let the big stuff slide. First they push a bylaw where the municipal crowd will take away Aunt Marge's pension cheque if she dares spot-spray a dandelion with 2,4-D, approved for use by Health Canada.

Then they muse openly about banning new drive-thrus and forcing citizens to get the permission of city paper shufflers to cut down a tree on their own property.

Brian Pincott supported spending a million dollars to have artistic decoration at
Calgary’s sewage processing facility.

Brian Pincott wanted to hire a poet for the city of Calgary for $250,000 per year.

Seems these two are really one and the same... all the better. LOL

Ian Robinson
Sun, September 14, 2008

Brian Pincott, whose extensive background in the theatre makes him the only alderman who can actually -- without blushing! -- defend hiring a poet for the sewage treatment plant.

Brian Pincott supports spending millions on pedestrian bridges downtown.

From Ward 11 blog:

….yes, I did vote in favour of the bridges.

We agreed to spend $25 million on the design of two bridges and the construction of one.

Troubled water for bridges

Alderman calls on council to sink $25-million pedestrian walkways project in wake of financial meltdown Ald. Brian Pincott, who voted in favour of the project, said while he has received an earful from constituents, they weren't given the correct information and he wants to set the record straight.

"The public reaction has been pretty heavily against these bridges based on really substantial misinformation in the media," he said.
"A basic pedestrian bridge across the Bow River is in the range of $15- to $18-million and this is something that will benefit the city for many years."

Pincott said city politicians need to stop looking with a short-term vision and start thinking how the city will look 30 years down the road.
But with council trying to stay below a double-digit tax hike for 2009, McIver said this isn't a hill for aldermen to die on.

Brian Pincott called for a review of Calgary’s off-leash dog parks because apparently there are not enough dog free paths for joggers.

Mike Blanchard

Dog park review will likely go to the dogs
6/24/2008 9:00:00 AM

Does Calgary need more off-leash parks? What about dog-only parks? It depends who you ask. Suddenly, off-leash areas are an issue again. Alderman Brian Pincott wants a review of the situation saying these places are becoming more crowded. There's no doubt that some parks have become incredibly popular places.

Let's see, what have I missed. Oh, yeah. I am not a journalist and have never claimed to be. So to try and insult my writing skills or my blog has zero effect, nice try though.

Mr Muta claims I have taken his statements out of context... even though I have posted them verbatim and anyone can view them on the original forum thread.

I think I will close with a comment that was left on my *gasp* husbands blog.... it is a very telling response from someone who does live in Pincotts ward.

DW Says:
October 29th, 2008 at 11:15 pm

It’s ironic that one of the most affluent wards in the city woke up the day after the election and found out they had elected a naive, but nevertheless stereotypical “green-at-any-cost” socialist (ex NDP candidate) with no understanding of business issues or economics. He is pushing his own agenda, not that of the citizens he was elected to represent.

But whose fault is that? OK, Alderman Pincott may have a different set of values that drives intrinsically bad policy decisions, but how many of us are calling him and putting our ideas or preferences out there for him to digest and hopefully follow? Its time we all get involved and take action. Talk to him and guide him in his direction. Harass him if necessary. Tell him we value our hard earned money and we want him to be responsible with our tax dollars. And if he doesn’t listen, fire him in two more years. Even if he listens, I urge citizens to vote for someone that is a responsible custodian of our taxes and not someone with his own agenda and complete disregard for who will fund the burden of his many pet projects.

I’m not sure how many people read this blog…. I stumbled across it tonight while searching for some information on Ward 11 issues. But the writer of this blog is interested enough to rant and provide a forum for others to rant as well. This is the kind of participation we need in our community. SPEAK UP FOR WHAT’S RIGHT!

Oh and one last thing. It might be an idea for Mr Pincott (or maybe Mr. Muta) to dig deep into their pocket and find a few toonies to resolve the "billing issue" at

Brian Pincott; his vision transcends asphalt roads and pipelines.

The title of this entry was recently posted on a forum. It made me laugh, in a sad sort of way; especially when I found the poster was serious.

I responded with directing the poster to this blog posting by my better half.

To which I got this response:

Aren't you a politician yourself? Or course you're going to have a biased opinion of another polictican that doesn't agree completely with what you believe in.

Also, linking to a personal blog isn't really credible. It's just some right-wing conservative spewing off their own opinions (like millions of other blogs around the world), and they happen to not like Pincott. You happen to agree with this. But not everybody does. Perhaps a more established link of some sort that provides accurate performance review of Mr. Pincott would be better suited.

Here's a better link as to what Pincott believes, straight from his mouth:

Brian Pincott is far from perfect; just like everybody other politician. But atleast the link above outlines his priorities, some of which make alot of sense given today's issues. I'm not a Pincott advocate, but I don't think some of the man's ideas are silly either.

As to not completely derail the thread, I have chosen to responsd here.

If running twice in elections makes me a politician, then yes I am guilty. Some may feel I have a biased and right wing opinion; however those who know me, know I am very (small “l”) liberal in many ways.

Brian Pincott however is so far left, you could put a full blown Liberal beside him and their opinion would appear right wing as well.

Though there is no date on the link provided, I suspect it was done during the civic election. There are a couple of points I do agree with; sadly though they are outnumbered by the ones that raise an eyebrow.

From the survey quoted:

Regarding homeless and urban poverty.
Brian Pincott says:

I believe the city should adopt a living wage policy …..

Great, free money for everyone. What will be the price tag on this?

I am all for recycling and composting, but here are his thoughts on curbside blue bins.
Brian Pincott says:

The current plan does currently include plastics and should include organics.

Awesome, food rotting in front of every house. Apartment hallways will be particularly pungent.

Brian Pincott says:

Also, a way to ensure that people are not throwing recyclable into the waste stream, such as insisting on clear plastic bags for trash, would help to ensure that we capture all recyclables.

So he would have the city mandate we all use clear bags so they can see what we throw out. And what’s next, fines if we throw out the wrong things? Well pretty close…

Brian Pincott says:

As well, the “user fee” should be on the behavior you wish to discourage……

There are more, but I think you get the idea.

Those are all things he “said” he would like to do over a year ago.

Here is a list of things he “has” covered since being in office.
Which I believe "provides accurate performance review of Mr. Pincott."

Brian Pincott wants to ban you from fertilizing your own lawn.

Brian Pincott wants to ban backyard fire pits.

Brian Pincott wants to ban household pesticide use.

Brian Pincott wants to violate your property rights by banning you from cutting trees and bushes on your own property.

Brian Pincott supported spending a million dollars to have artistic decoration at
Calgary’s sewage processing facility.

Brian Pincott wanted to hire a poet for the city of Calgary for $250,000 per year.

Brian Pincott supports spending millions on pedestrian bridges downtown.

Brian Pincott called for a review of Calgary’s off-leash dog parks because apparently there are not enough dog free paths for joggers.

How long will this list be after three years on council.

He makes a very, very strong case for recall ! ! !

Wednesday 8 October 2008

ATB best place to launder money in Alberta

Thanks to CaramonLS at the puck forum for reminding me to blog about this.

In my business I conduct the banking for some of my clients; in the course of a month I deal with nearly every major bank in Alberta.

I can tell you things like; RBC is the worst for business service charges, CIBC and Scotia do not have convenient locations, the TD despite their long hours always has line ups, etc…

But the most alarming discovery I have made is that the Alberta Treasury Branches (ATB) are the best place to launder money. Now, this should not to be construed that I do launder money or that I encourage it; but if I have figured it out, certainly the criminals have as well.

Case in point:

For one of my clients I deposit payroll cheques and sometimes cash (hotshot) on behalf of the employees. One particular employee deals with the ATB. His cheques were continually being held. The only explanation they gave was “that’s the way we do it”.

I asked once; “These cheques are going in on a regular basis without any NSF problems. Doesn’t that constitute a good record and further cheques should be accessible right away?” …. Answer: NO.

We then we switched to doing certified cheques for this employee, yet the issue continued. So I asked them; “Why on earth would you hold “certified funds”, they are the same as cash?” To which they said; “With the amount of cheque fraud, we must still wait for the funds to clear.” Huh? The money has already “cleared” at the bank it is drawn on.

I then asked; “What if I deposited cash?” Response; “Cash is ok.” So I asked; “What identification would I need to provide?” …. Response; “None.”
Which is odd, since at every other bank when I deposit cash to someone else’s’ account I have to produce my drivers license and they record the number. This is to prevent, discourage and track money laundering.

The ATB’s rules are encouraging businesses to move away from cheques and use cash. They have created a very friendly environment for the criminals. I wonder if it is just coincidence that they are completely regulated by the Alberta Government.

Tuesday 7 October 2008

Family update.... love in the air.

Our oldest daughter is expecting ...... an alien….. LOL, just kidding.
It is a little boy. Though in his first picture, he sure looked like an alien.

This will be our first grandchild and we can’t wait to see the little gaffer. We will be grandparents before Christmas and Cory isn’t even close to 40 yet ! ! .. Ha, ha…just had to get that jab in.

Then there are the engagements, three in total.

Cory’s brother finally will wed his lifelong love. It will be the third Morgan wedding in as many years... and another one set in the Canadian Rockies.

Next is our oldest son, to a wonderful dynamic woman; truly a “soul mate” to my boy…here’s hoping I am not a typical a mother-in-law. On that note, I have two awesome mother-in-laws to give me guidance. ;)

Last is my nephew….. normally I would not even mention nieces and nephews… I have WAY too many… but I find it hard to believe that someone actually tamed this boy… all 6’ 7” of him….

The love in the air has even stuck the youngest member of our family…. Stewie. He is now 9 months old and starting to fill out, looking more and more like his daddy Armonti every day.



We frequent an off-leash park and everyone tells us there are other bulldogs that go there as well, but we have never had the opportunity to meet any of them. We seem to always “just miss” them…. Until today. Stewie and I decided to go for a morning visit and he was lucky enough to meet Coco.

She is very soft and absolutely adorable. Stewie fell in love with her very quickly and they had a great time playing together.

Coco is a strong young girl, she did not hesitate to tell Stewie just what and what not, would be acceptable behaviour….LOL.
She is blonde and a little bit older than Stewie….hmmm seems he is taking after his human daddy too. ;)

Friday 3 October 2008

This and that....

Just a quick follow up on a couple of my earlier blog entries.

The police have arrested Travis Marc Martel for Sarah Rae's murder.
Family and friends can now move to the next steps; though they will be difficult, it is progress.

Herald article here.

Also the Monday following this entry, Mr. Prentice's sign was moved off of the school grounds to a location across the street onto public property.
Darn, it didn't show up on my yard. ;)

Wildrose Alliance Stands Up for Albertans

October 3, 2008

Wildrose Alliance Stands Up for Albertans against Federal Constitutional Creep

All federal parties -- including the Conservatives, but also the Liberals, NDP and Greens -- are vowing to trespass on the resource ownership rights of Albertans. The right to own, manage, regulate, export and benefit from natural resources is reserved to provinces by sections 92 and 92A of the Constitution Act 1867.

Of particular concern is a declaration last Friday and repeated in the Federal debate by Conservative Leader Stephen Harper that his government will forbid the export of Alberta's raw bitumen for processing in countries with environmental standards lower than Canada's (such as China and the USA, though they are not named).

The Wildrose Alliance advocates that as much bitumen processing as possible take place in Alberta and desires co-operation with Ottawa. However, this federal Conservative pledge amounts to a politically motivated challenge of Alberta's section 92A right to control its resource.

"Given the substantial volatility of oil prices both up and down, Albertans should stand on guard against constitutional trespass by the next federal government, regardless of which party wins this election," says Wildrose Alliance leader Paul Hinman. "National parties do not represent the unique needs and interests of Alberta but Provincial parties do."

The Wildrose Alliance calls on Premier Stelmach to stand up against this attempt of Constitutional creep and issue a statement that Alberta will not allow federal encroachment on the rights of Alberta.

"Silence is never a defence," says Paul Hinman, adding that "Canada was founded as a federation and we are proud Canadians and proud Albertans. However, there are areas of responsibilty for the Federal government and areas of responsibility for the Provincial government. The Wildrose Alliance desires to have Alberta play a strong role with the confederation and the abrogation of its rights is not congruent with that goal. The Premiers of Alberta have always stood up for Alberta before, now is not the time to begin silent protests."


Paul Hinman
Wildrose Alliance leader
Phone: 403 393-2003


Tuesday 30 September 2008

Police release photo of homicide victim

Calgary police released a photograph of homicide victim Sarah Nicole Rae in hopes that someone will come forward with information about her death.
The 24-year-old was found dead in a home in the 6100 block of 4 Avenue N.E. on August 3.
An autopsy revealed that Rae was stabbed to death. Police say that there were no signs of forced entry into the home where she was found and that it is likely she knew her killer.

Full article.

Here's hoping it gets resolved PDQ !

Thursday 25 September 2008

Guess I touched a nerve.....

So my good buds over at the Calgarypuck forum have cited me with another infraction and completely pulled a thread I started about Mr. Prentice and his special sign privileges.

Reason: While an interesting discussion topic, the forum isn't a place to link to your own blog so overtly like that.
The moderator went on to say;
Posting a thread with the subject matter without a link would have been great.

Well I can't deny it; yes, posting links to my blog is to drive traffic to it.
Isn't that why we all blog? To get the word out to as many people as possible?
Isn't that why we post on forums? To share, discuss and debate ideas?

It is the same reason I have a link on my blog to their site....
to drive traffic to them.

They say that posting the entire blog entry would have been more appropriate; however I am pretty sure it would have gathered just as many complaints and likely also led to an infraction.

And this all seems rather ironic, since the first infraction I received in January was this one:

Violation of copyright, do not repost entire articles. Please read the posted guidelines.
Granted I can see the difference between my own articles and those of others.
None the less, I have been using that as a guideline in subsequent postings.... in fact there have been two other threads that I started in exactly this same fashion.

I did not receive an infraction on either of those; nor were the threads pulled.

Clearly they are being selective about what gets debated; fair enough it is their board to do as they see fit. I will stick to boards that apply their own guidelines fairly and equally.

Calgary Board of Education supports the CPC ???

As much as I love politics, I still think there are certain groups who should remain non-partisan; school boards for example. Yet nearly everyday of this federal election I am getting the message that the Calgary Board of Education supports the Conservative Party of Canada.

Now they don’t have this information on their website; nor have I seen any mailers with their support. However; one of Calgary’s largest high schools has had one of Jim Prentice’s signs predominately displayed on school property for most of the campaign.

This is not some small sign that an over zealous campaign worker put up without thinking. It is a sign rented from Brite Signs, the type that require a vehicle to move. They also normally have to schedule a set up and take down time. And in this case I suspect they also required permission to enter the grounds to place the sign.

Realistically, I am pretty sure the agreement to place this sign on school property ended at the school level and the board is likely not even aware of it. You cannot see the name of the school in the photo, but it is James Fowler High School. It is on a prime corridor in this riding. A street; where on the opposite side, all parties suffer massive vandalism of signs. Yet this one is untouched.

A search of the school’s directory will show you a NJ Prentice. Coincidence? Maybe, maybe not. Too bad my son has graduated; I always meant to ask his Social Studies teacher if she was related to Jim.

I absolutely support politics being discussed at the high school level; I just don't think a school should openly support one party. Personally, I think the sign should be moved. We have room on our lawn, though not near as much traffic. ;)

Editted @ 4:15 to add: I now have confirmation that NJ is related to Jim...

Thursday 4 September 2008

Wildrose Alliance - Press Release

Wildrose Alliance Runs Surplus,

Other Parties Run Deficits

The campaign statements are out and this government has proven it cannot grasp fiscal responsibility. They spent five times their fund raising and were happy to raid the rainy day fund built up by Ralph Klein supporters. The PC's believe if they spend enough money the voters will follow. The Wildrose Alliance believes Albertans cannot be so easily fooled.

This government has been exposed for their excessive spending and open cheque book policies. Like the federal Liberals, Premier Stelmach now finds it necessary to put in spending gag laws to protect their interests. Just like their personal pay raises they do it in secret and behind closed doors. The Wildrose Alliance believes this is unethical. Prime Minister Steven Harper and the federal Conservatives fought against such gag laws, why is this government implementing them?

The Wildrose Alliance is a party of principles and during the recent Election we demonstrated fiscal accountability to our members and Albertans. We have proven we are the fiscally responsible party and that we will respect the wealth of Albertans.

Clearly, this deficit spending by the PC's underscores why they called an Election. Albertans are shutting the door on donations to the PC's and only 1/5th of Albertans voted for them. With the rising support the Wildrose Alliance is receiving from Albertans it is clear we are a threat to their self preservation and 36 year reign.

The big concern we have for all Albertans is this government's budgeting. Their latest fiscal update left little room for error yet billions have been promised for environmental initiatives against millions in funding for crime and health care. Oil and Gas prices are far below even their latest economic assumptions just 2 weeks ago and threaten their budget. The PC's could not estimate oil and gas gas prices on the way up, how can we trust they'll make the right estimate on the way down? Further, when they prioritize high speed trains and carbon dioxide pipelines versus funding hospitals and fighting gangs, they've proven they are out of touch with everyday Albertans.

The Wildrose Alliance focuses on the issues of everyday Albertans: a strong vibrant economy, innovative health care available to all, quality education, responsible environmental management and safe communities.


Paul Hinman
Wildrose Alliance leader
Phone: 403 393-2003

Wednesday 3 September 2008

Alberta 2008 General Election “financial” Results

The financials for the campaign period (Feb. 4th to May 3rd.) are now public on Elections Alberta site. I was pretty confident the WRP would end up in a better situation than the opposition parties; but I never dreamed we would out do Ed Stelmachs PC's......

GRN $ (20,094.50) Deficit
LIB $ (162,683.62) Deficit
NDP $ (351,257.94) Deficit
PC $ (2,426,412.00) DEFICIT.

Yup, double checked it is nearly 2.5 MILLION and is deficit.

WRP $ 49,409.41 SURPLUS ! ! ! ! ! ! !

Remind me again; who is the "fiscally responsible" party in this province???


Monday 11 August 2008

The Silence of Violence

Summer should be a time of happy memories for people, especially young people. They are on break from college and/or taking vacations with their friends and family. They should be enjoying Stampede, camping, boating and a whole array of other activities. Those should be the memories of a hot summer in Calgary.

Summer 2008 will be remembered by the young people in my life (my adult children and their friends) and many, many other Calgary youth, as a summer of mourning. They have all been touched by the passing of three young Calgarians.

First was a young man killed in a tragic motorcycle accident. At 18 years old, he was taken way too soon; doing something he had an incredible passion for. Friends and family can take some comfort in knowing he helped others by being an organ donor.

Second was another young man, who put up a valiant battle with health problems. Friends and family can take some comfort in knowing he is now at peace and no longer in pain.

Both of these were tragic and unexpected. The grieving process is fluid and in motion; the pain of losing of each will ebb and flow. Over time cherished memories will take the place of the pain, though it may never be completely be replaced.

The third is Sarah Rae, a young woman with a whole life and world before her yet to explore and discover.

Sarah was taken not by fate of an accident or a battle with a disease. Her life was taken by another person (or persons). I cannot phantom, nor will I claim to know what her family is experiencing. My heart aches at just trying to put myself in their shoes. The thought of losing one of my children (let alone an only child) is unthinkable. My thoughts, prayers and deepest sympathies go out to them.

This brings me to the silence. Not the silence of her family; that I completely understand and can respect.

It is the silence of the violence that troubles me. No, that is too mild, but short of swearing. It annoys me, it pisses me off, it makes me want to scream, and it makes me want to shake someone until they spit it out.

At least one person knows what happened that night, likely they have “talked” to someone. Perhaps there is more than one person involved, they know what happened. Actually, person is not the right word either. It should be “coward”; at least one or more cowards know what happened.

The crime itself is bad enough; but not admitting to it or coming forward with information is only making a bad situation worse. Only a very selfish coward would not break the silence.

Silence makes everything worse for everyone. It delays the closure for family and friends. It extends the grieving. It creates more questions than answers.

What goes through a cowards head? Clearly they have no sense of responsibility. I guess that goes without saying.

Over two years ago my son and his friends were attacked. A couple of people posted on a web forum they were witnesses. They justified not coming forward by saying “being a rat is worse” or my favourite; “I don’t get involved in things like this….I don’t have time….I am an adult….if it were my kid I would make time”.

I know there are other unsolved beatings; some are far worse. But even they cannot compare to an unsolved murder. Yet cowards feel that bringing the guilty individual(s) to justice is “ratting” and they only care if it is their children.

They have no regard for what the family and friends go through. They do not care that people live with that “unknown”; they do not care that they are multiplying the pain. They do not care if it goes on for days, months or even years; that is the reality of the silence of violence.

I cannot comfort my daughter and her friends; there are no words to bring sense to a violent death. The grieving process will not be fluid and in motion; the pain of loss of each will not ebb and flow. It gets frozen in time and it keeps crashing against the wall of silence.

Ask anyone who went to school with me in Standard, Alberta; they do not remember 1981 as the year we graduated. We remember it as the year 15 year old, Kelly Cook was murdered. To this day Kelly’s murder remains unsolved….27 years! It is haunting and it can be all consuming.

No one, absolutely NO ONE; should to have to wait 27 years, 27 days or 27 minutes for the silence of violence to end.

Friday 11 July 2008

I do find it somewhat humerous that it is the leader of the Green Party making these statements.

Would a wild rose plate by any other name smell sweeter to Tories?

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The debate over changing the slogan on Alberta's licence plates is being driven purely by political motivation, according to a provincial party leader.

The Alberta government set up a website for public comment on a new design to be unveiled in 2009. Last month, Service Alberta Minister Heather Klimchuk said based on comments from 33,000 people, the leading suggestions were to keep the current motto "Wild Rose Country" or to replace it with "Strong and Free."

"I think it's a golden opportunity to brand Alberta and do something innovative and fabulous to be proud of our province," Klimchuk said.

But George Read, leader of the Alberta Greens, disputes the motivation: "It has to do with the fact that the Wildrose Alliance has 'wild rose' in their name, and [the governing Progressive Conservatives] don't want a free ad on the back of everybody's car."

He points out the licence-plate issue didn't appear on Tory Premier Ed Stelmach's agenda until the Wildrose Alliance became a political party.

"I think Mr. Stelmach is scared, and I think it's funny."

The Wildrose Alliance espouses policies to the right of the governing Conservatives. It lost its only seat in the legislature in the March 3, 2008, provincial election

Article continued.

And the even funnier thing about the article:

"It wouldn't be so much a change of licence plate so much as a change in nationality," observed David Taras, a political scientist at the University of Calgary.

"Because those are words that ring in the American national anthem, on American licence plates, in the American Declaration of Independence."

... alas; someone else caught it too.

Idealist Pragmatist

Thursday 26 June 2008

Wildrose Alliance Enters its Teens

If you watched closely you could see the metamorphosis – the reaching of that slow, sometimes awkward midpoint between childhood and adulthood, the teens.
The Wildrose Alliance Party held its AGM on Saturday the 21 of June in Red Deer. By the end of the day you could see glimpses of what this new party will be as it began to stretch its gangly legs and through the occasional telltale squeak of a cracking voice you could make out the fine lines of maturity starting to emerge as the passion of the Alliance started to mix and mingle with the complementary skills of the Wildrose.

The party emerged from its AGM with a defined course of action by passing a resolution called “The Framework for the Future”. It provides the executive with clear definable goals and an interactive general plan for developing policy, membership and election-fighting capacity. It was interesting to watch as the party’s social conscience was stirred as it passed resolutions to deal with the bullying of the Human Rights Tribunals and its plan to end the overly-intimate relationship between the government and Elections Alberta.

What most stood out was the blend of young and old in the crowd. It was reflected in the pleasant mix of youth and experience in the newly elected executive, which ranges from 31-year-old Calgary investment advisor Jeff Callaway as President, to 56-year-old VP Policy Link Byfield, a longtime voice for centre-right, conservative values.

Members applauded the work of leader Paul Hinman in the annual leadership review, giving him the thumbs up to continue as leader.

Do we have it all together? No, but we are well on the way. There will be the usual growing pains that accompany a new party, but it will soon come of age, confident and sure on Alberta’s political stage.


Saturday 21 June 2008

Bright future for the Wildrose Alliance

I am just back from our first AGM as the Wildrose Alliance Party.
It went very well; including yours truly being re-elected to the position of Treasurer (CFO). :)

For the benefit of those who were unable to attend and those who might just be curious; the following is the report I delivered today to the membership.

You will have in your packages copies of the audited financial statements for 2007. Keep in mind these are for the Alberta Alliance Party and do not include any figures from the recent election period.

Our auditor for 2007 was Doug Wilde of Mercer Wilde Moltz of Lethbridge; this is the third audit the firm has completed for the Party. I won’t bore everyone by dissecting them line by line, but rather touch on some key factors that are noteworthy.

Financially, 2007 was a significant turning point for our party. More Albertans were looking for a viable alternative and they found that with us. Through them we enjoyed growth in both our member base and contributions.

Contributions in 2007 were just shy of a quarter million dollars. This is more than four times our previous’ years total and a new annual record for the party.

In 2007 we continued the work we had started in late 2006, of reducing our operating costs as much as possible and not incurring an expense unless we had contributor lined up. This resulted in a savings of over $24,000.00.

The combination of increased revenue and reduced operating expenses afforded us the opportunity to make a sizable payment towards the accounts payable that had been on the books since the 2004 general election.

In 2007 we also ran candidates in the Drumheller – Stettler and Calgary – Elbow by-elections; our healthy financial situation allowed the party to help them out financially where their own fundraising fell short. I think I can speak for Dave France and myself; we are both very grateful for the parties support in this regard.

We closed 2007 on a very optimist note and clearly demonstrated who the fiscally responsible party is in Alberta.

That trend continued into 2008. While the audited statements for the recent election will not be available for a couple of weeks, I do want to share some information with you and layout out a financial game plan for the coming years.

During the recent election our membership numbers rose immensely; we raised hundreds of thousands of dollars. The source of these contributions was evenly split between individual and corporate donors.

I am very pleased to say, what is most impressive; is that we emerged from the campaign debt free. This is very significant as I doubt any of the other parties; aside from the PC’s, are in this enviable position.

Political parties are often referred to as “vehicles”; they have the features you like and can take you to a destination. Albertans buy memberships in parties they believe in and are proud to be an owner of.

In 2007 we tuned up the Alberta Alliance vehicle; many people work hard to make sure it was running smoothly and efficiently. Late in the year we met with some other people; they too were working on a political vehicle. Theirs still had that “new car” smell; a catchy name and many dedicated people were involved; they were the Wildrose Party.

Over December and January we all worked very hard to blend the best of each of our vehicles; thus on January 19th the Wildrose Alliance Party came to be. It is the hybrid of political vehicles.

While the paint was barely dry on our hybrid party in the 2008 election; we are in an excellent position to prepare our vehicle for its next race. In 3 to 4 years we will once again take to the racetrack. We know our competition; we know that we need a very large war chest to take them on. This is one area where we would like to appeal to all our members.

At the executive level, we have done all we can to reduce costs and be more efficient. Membership fees alone cannot sustain a party. We need donations for the maintenance of the vehicle. Things like our annual and election audits.

However the most important thing we need contributions for, is building a large reserve of funds to run an incredible campaign. We are at a point where this is well within our grasp.

Today I would like to challenge each of you to take your membership to the next level. I urge everyone to become a monthly contributor. You can choose any amount, but we are suggesting a minimum $30.00 per month. That is less than a dollar a day; it is less than a cup of coffee. At $30.00 per month your annual total is $360.00, this is under the amount that will make your name public thru Elections Alberta. With the tax benefit your net cost is only $100.00 per year.

If every member did this from now until the next election we would be in a very, very comfortable position to run an impressive race. For taking part in this monthly donation drive you will receive a Wildrose Alliance lapel pin, which is illustrated on the donation form in your package.

We are growing and more people like what we stand for and the direction we are going. I envision a day…. Maybe not a month from now; but a year or two down the road…..; when I will spot a stranger on the street wearing a Wildrose pin. I will be incredibly proud that they believe in and support the same hybrid political vehicle that I do.

Thursday 12 June 2008

Friday the 13th a “Bad Luck” day for the secretive cabinet pay hikes

Excellent idea from the CTF.

Taxpayers Federation asking Albertans to call Premier’s office on Friday June 13th to protest the cabinet pay hike

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) is declaring Friday, June 13th the “Friday the 13th Pay Hike Protest” in Alberta. The CTF is calling on Albertans who are angry with the secretive 30% pay hikes cabinet ministers and the premier gave themselves last month, to call Premier Stelmach's office in Edmonton between 9am and noon on Friday, June 13th in protest.

“Friday the 13th is considered a day of ‘bad luck’ and it seems fitting for Albertans to use this day to send a message to Premier Stelmach that they’re not happy with the secretive pay hike,” stated CTF-Alberta director Scott Hennig.

“The Premier seems content to sweep his secretive pay hike under the rug and Albertans should let him know loud and clear they aren’t happy,” continued Hennig.

“We understand Albertans are busy, so it’s not feasible for them to drive to Edmonton to protest these pay hikes in person,” said Hennig. “But with a phone protest it only takes a minute to make a quick phone call to the Premier’s office.”

Edmonton region Albertans can call the Premier’s office directly at: 780-427-2251

Albertans outside of the Edmonton region can call the Premier’s office toll-free by dialling 310-0000 first and then dialling the Premier’s office at: 780-427-2251

The e-mail address for Premier Stelmach is:

The fax number for Premier Stelmach is: 780-427-1349

CTF website:

Friday 23 May 2008

Just for fun.....

Everyone knows blondes have more fun..... and I am no exception...LOL.

Thus as a Gemini, it is only appropriate that I have two blogs for cater to my diverse personality.

I introduce you to my "Alter Ego" .... First Lady.

Monday 12 May 2008

Political Performance Indicator

This is what insomnia gets you..... online profiling.... ;)

I scored 75%, the top end of "moderate"; with my highest percentage falling into "Rational" catagory.



He is a steady and rational person who can define his goals precisely, distinguishing between what he really need and what he can easily do without. This type of person is able to learn from previous experience. He feels and values the present and think seriously about the future. He takes his affairs seriously, evaluating carefully their importance to him as well as the feasibility of their execution.

Such person is capable and disposed to evaluate soberly his possibilities within the context of various circumstances. He considers the consequences of his deeds. He has the courage both to make a decision and, when necessary, to reject it. Having made a decision he doesn't hesitate, but carry it out energetically.

In trying to reach his goal he is capable of overcoming many obstacles and difficulties, at the same time evaluating the importance of this goal to him and his potential for achieving it, as well as his possible gains and losses.

This type of person easily become friend with people who make a good impression on him and he gladly gives them whatever help he can without expecting compensation or profit.

He has his own opinion on many social and political issues, but doesn't like to thrust it on others. A sense of self-dignity is intrinsic in such person and he does not need to prove his merits to others nor demonstrate superiority over them. He is aware of the limits of his abilities and is satisfied when he has exploited them to the fullest.

His personality is well-balanced between stability and safety, and risk and daring. This type of person tries to set himself realistic goals but this may limit the level of his expectations and the realization of his potential. As a rule, success encourages him to reach toward higher levels and to attain goals he previously never hoped for.

Men of this character resemble the type to which Benjamin Franklin and Franklin D. Roosevelt belonged, and women resemble Margaret Thatcher.

Try it yourself

Thursday 8 May 2008

Congrats to Anonymous

Congrats to Anonymous (who could be any one of over a million unknown internet surfers) for correctly answering where the "shoe tree" picture was taken.

To get there we passed through the town of Coalmont; where they have a great welcome sign.

"Welcome to Coalmont"

Wednesday 7 May 2008

The rare and nearly extinct "Shoe Tree"

One a recent road trip we were lucky enough to witness a rare "Shoe Tree".

Any guesses as to where we went?

Thursday 1 May 2008

Stewie is growing up.

Stewie is now four months old and is quite a character.
Here he is expressing his opinion of our blogging.

You guessed it; albertaviews ....

Well, heywood guessed it.

Congrats to heywoodfloyd over at Project Alberta for correctly guessing the magazine this blogger was published in, is albertaviews.

This months’ cover illustrates a conflict between urban and rural and the articles run in that same vein; ironically I have a similar struggle.

I spent my early years growing up in rural Alberta and yearning to “get out” to the big city. Now having been in Calgary all of my adult life I find myself wanting to get back to the country. Don’t get me wrong, I love Calgary….. however, this is a story for another day.... I must get back to work.

Wednesday 30 April 2008

Rookie blogger gets published ! !

I must say I was pleasantly surprised when a magazine requested permission to print an excerpt from my blog.

I still consider myself a novice and certainly don't have the writing skills of my better half, so I won't be letting this go to my head. All the same it was difficult keeping quiet on it for so long. I think part of me had to see it to believe it. Eons ago I did a bit of modelling and now my daughter does some, along with acting; so I am all too familiar with the "cutting room floor."

But alas; I have the magazine in hand and indeed it is there, in black and white. If you subscribe, you too will have your copy. Everyone else will have to wait until it hits the news stands tomorrow...... otherwise stay tuned here and I will reveal the name of the magazine, which may surprise some. Hee hee....

Monday 28 April 2008

Winter re-runs; snow in April.

I have lived in Alberta all my life; so snow in April (or May, or June) is not a huge surprise. But what to do to keep the kids entertained. The outdoor rinks have long since melted and the drive to ski hills on a slick, slushy highway is less than appealing.

"What about tobogganing?!" exclaims one of the kids. Hmmm, that is a good idea.

Except for one small problem; no toboggan. It is also highly unlikely that any store will carry them at this time of year. What we do have is one small crazy carpet with some chicks email address on it. (Cory can explain that).

One crazy carpet for the four of us is not going to be much fun. Then it dawns on us we have hundreds of pieces of plastic in storage. A few 4 x 8, some 4 x 4 and umpteen lawn sign size.
Some with Cory's name, some with mine (being kept for future use) and even better some with my maiden name...... destined to be recycled.

Have you figured it out yet? I am speaking of election signs. And sure enough they make an awesome make shift Alberta snow sled.

:) :) :)

Saturday 19 April 2008

Spring Break Up and Tax Season

Well so much for my last entry. Where has the time gone?

I should have known better; that as a bookkeeper, I would have very little time in April for blogging.

My better half on the other hand is on "spring break up"..... no we have not separated...LOL

For any non-Albertan readers, spring break up is oilfield lingo for the regular lull in operations that occurs every year.

At any rate, he has at least found the time to start his blog. Check him out and you can have a taste of what I put up with on a daily basis. ;)

Thursday 27 March 2008

Since the election

Since the election I have been busy with getting my work load caught up and getting back into a regular routine.

Well, at least as regular as it can be with the new addition to our family, but Cor is home now :) :) :)

.... and he can keep Stewie distracted while I get some blog posts in.

Saturday 8 March 2008

Introducing Stewie ! !

This is Stewie. He was born in the USA, but we paid the GST to get him across the border; so I figure that officially makes him Canadian.

He is an English Bulldog and is 10 weeks old today.

Wednesday 5 March 2008

Election thank you.....

I have not been been able to catch up on all that has been posted on PA, I am sure there is some very interesting postings in last couple of days. I wanted to say thanks to everyone who helped me during the election, especially MikeR, Canuckistan and my son, Justin.

I am still feeling very up beat, except that I just dropped Cor off at airport for the last leg of his Arctic contract. :( We spent all day yesterday picking up signs and with stilll being a tad hung over from Monday night....we are pretty tired. My son and I are leaving this morning on a "mini" trip; when we return we will have a new addition to our family. :)

Last few weeks I have been telling people I would be quite happy to garner more support than I did in Elbow.....accomplished. More disheartening is the fact that Kyle Fawcett was elected. Having met Pat Murray (Liberal candidate); I know he would have been a far better MLA. Unlike Kyle, Pat and I both live in the area (in fact we are neighbours) and we have seen some things during the campaign that the PC's need to be held accountable for. We may not be able to do it "in" the Leg, but they have not heard the last from me.

Sunday 2 March 2008

Election moments........

.... early in campaign; breaking valve stem off of one my tires, late in the day. It had to go to dealer and I had appointments to attend to..... this had the potential to be a stressful incident; but Graham at Renfrew Chrysler gave me the royal treatment. Got me into a rental and had my Top Banana #83 / 250 fixed up within 24 hrs.

I think it was the WAP signs in the trunk; Cory thinks it was my green eyes....LOL


..... officer holding radar gun waves me to pull over; as I slow, he sees sign on my car and waves me on..... I am pretty sure the fella behind me was going faster and was a better catch..... It certainly wasn't my green eyes that time.


...... late on debate night; running a bath; phone rings..... I answer, but can't hear the caller; so I say "One sec" ...... "Sorry about that, I was just about to step into bath."

Caller, "Are you sure you want to be telling ME that?"

Jane, "Oh,... who's calling?"

Caller, "This is Kirk Heuser, from CTV."

Color me RED.

Out of courtesy to Kirk, I will refrain from regaling you with the balance of the conversation.....LMAO


....... Saturday, March 1, all candidates forum at Carewest Dr Vernon Fanning centre. Candidates in attendance; Pat Murray, Lib; Jim Wright, SC and Jane Morgan, WAP.
We met with residents who shared their stories of life in the centre, which was heart wrenching. Due to staffing issues, they are only able to have one shower a week ! ! ! They receive paltry AISH payments and if they are able to work, they face clawbacks to the payments. I likely will blog on this one more, down the road.

Sign Story # 1 - part 2

Final weekend of campaign and the sign destruction continues. This time they were not so selective; nearly every party had mass destruction along 10 Ave. NW by Confederation Park.

Yes, those are tire tracks..... evidence to be submitted to CSI.....LOL

Thursday 28 February 2008

“Here’s your sign.”

Sign story #1

Signs are often a large percentage of a campaign budget; they can also be the most labor intensive for your volunteers. From the construction to delivering to supporters. From installing in public areas according to city bylaws to the follow up maintenance. Everyone knows you will lose some to weather conditions and petty vandalism. It would appear though, that a bizarre phenomenon has occurred to my signs in the last 48 hours.

I did not have my signs out the first week of the campaign; it takes a while for donations to come in and then production time to create them. So they have been out for roughly two weeks. Today I got a call from volunteers that my signs on XX Street were down. Now that is not unusual; it was windy yesterday. Then another call and another and yet another. Plus one is telling me; they are not just “down”, they are “gone.”

I find this rather difficult to believe, it is on a road I travel frequently and I know they were there yesterday. It is late, I tell my volunteers to go home and I head to the location with my son to check it out. Sure enough, there is no sign of the signs. Not blown down with the wind; not broken off by vandals; just plain “gone.” So we replace them with new ones.

As we return to our vehicle my son says; “Here’s your sign.” Sure enough at a nearby building; in a pile of debris, is my sign….and a few feet further another, and another. We recovered half of those missing signs. Sadly as we went to the other locations we were not so lucky. By the end of the night the tally of signs lost is close to forty.

Sign story #2

In our rounds this evening we spotted a home that had a sign for nearly every party on its lawn. Now dueling spouses does happen, but three different supporters in one household is unusual. These are constituents I must meet. The conversation goes something like this:

Jane Morgan: “Hi, I am Jane Morgan. I am running in the election and I am a little surprised at the variety of signs on your yard.”

Constituent: “So am I.”

Jane Morgan; “Pardon me?”

Constituent; “Everyday I come home and there is another one.”

Jane Morgan: “Are you saying they didn’t ask your permission?”

Constituent: “Nope. In fact I called the Liberals and told them to remove it. They told me it is outside of property line and is on public space.”

Jane Morgan: “Well it certainly looks like it is in your yard.”

Constituent: “I know and everyone thinks is support them. Who are you running for?”

Jane Morgan: “The Wildrose Alliance.”

Constituent: “Well go for it. You are the only one who has come to my door.”

I am quite proud that my sign is within the property lines with the permission of the resident.

Sign story #3

I wasn’t even going to comment on this one; but after today’s events I have changed my mind. On Tuesday I noticed nearly all of my fellow candidates in Calgary North Hill had signs popping up on public areas on Centre St. and 14 St. I gave each of my sign volunteers a copy of the restricted list and I know these two streets are completely off limits. On Wednesday I call the city of Calgary 311 line; thinking perhaps I have missed some “exception.”

My call was answered promptly and after some brief research the representative confirms they are indeed restricted streets. She tells me if I have the exact address, I could lodge a complaint. I say, “Well there are several and frankly I don’t have time for that.” Out of curiosity I ask how long would it take for that type of concern to be addressed? They try to resolve within 21 days.

So there you have it; if you are going to break city bylaws pertaining to election signs, do it in the last 21 days of the campaign.

And no, you will not see any of my signs on either of these streets.

Post script:

While I certainly have my own opinion on the above, the "lady" in me is saying,

"Follow Thumper's motto."

Readers comments are welcome.
They will be reviewed by either myself or Mike, my campaign manager.