Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Curried Cauliflower Casserole

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2 cauliflower
10 oz cream of mushroom soup (optional)
1 cup shredded cheese (optional)
1/3 cups miracle whip
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 cup bread crumbs, GF
2 tbsp Butter melted

Break cauliflower into small flowerettes. Put in casserole. Mix soup, miracle whip, curry powder. Pour over cauliflower. Spread bread crumbs, cheese and melted butter on top.

Bake 1 hour at 325 F.

Makes 8 servings

Sunday, January 18, 2009

An elected Ontario Senate?

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Those of us living in the rural areas of Ontario know all too well how the current political climate in this province has not suited us for a long while.

Representation by population works when populated areas are balanced, and have similar needs, issues and concerns. At Confederation this was more the case, but the mass population explosion of the 401 corridor has turned the balance in the legislature upside down. 

I was reading a piece today by Randy Hillier, ex-President of the Ontario Landowners Association, and current maverick Tory MP for the area 500 metres from my home in  Lanark, Frontenac, Lennox, and Addington.

In it he states:

An elected provincial senate whose representation is based on communities of interest, not population, would have the advantages of the federal senate without the failings of political patronage. Arguably, sober second thought and review is more relevant provincially than federally, as there is a more substantial and direct relationship of services between the people and their provincial governments. [...]

The priorities of Ontario's urban politicians and bureaucracy are bans and restrictions, and they are out of sync with the people of rural Ontario. This has resulted in Ontario going from first to worst in economic performance, a painfully dismal record in health care, high taxes, a ballooning bureaucracy, deficits, reduced individual responsibility and freedoms, and have-not status. This dismal performance is a reflection not of coincidence, bad luck, or external factors, but of the wrong priorities. In a democracy, people, politicians, and governments are the authors of their fortunes, good or bad. But institutions matter as well as personalities. An improved bicameral political structure is needed so that the urban drum is not always the loudest.

He also goes onto stating that municipalities should be enshrined into a provincial constitution that cannot be arbitrarily reset by the government du jour.  I agree with this in principle, however there needs to be a provision for portions of the municipalities who did not choose to be amalgamated to separate or adjoin to a different municipality. 

Same thing, there needs to be some way enshrined in this new constitution for municipalities to mutually agree to a boundary change that happens time-to-time because development doesn't always happen where municipal  planners plan it.

The main issue here is there MUST be a debate on how to get the diverging regions heard in a fair way in a province so wide and diverse.

I thank the Western Standard for giving Mr. Hillier some inkspace.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Wump of Gump

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My wife and I were looking back at pictures taken this summer, and we came upon this one.  My wife tells me that E-G, who turns 3 tomorrow, told her that she wanted her to save it because she didn’t want “to throw out the Wump of Gump.”  So my wife took a picture of this spilled cough medicine.

I love the way her little mind works….  

An Open Letter to the City of Ottawa Management on the Strike

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Mr. Mercier, Mr. O'Brien and Mr. Brooks,

I represent the over 1,000 households in the Greater Ashton area. Even though we are a rural area, the strike affects our members on a daily basis because of the increased traffic, the reliance of some our students for bussing, as well as those of us who drive to park and rides to take city busses.

Even though we are all feeling extremely inconvenienced, we would ask that you stand firm in your stand and in your offer to the union.  The union does not represent the citizens of this city  - you do.  And as citizens we do not want to be held hostage to the unions, nor do we want any compromises you make affecting all of the other collective agreements that need to be negotiated this year with other union groups in Ottawa.

It is about time that this city stood firm and took control back of the only thing it can control  in its budget - the salaries of its employees.  After seeing years of our property taxes increasing, with a decrease in services, we feel that enough is enough.

Now, it would be too easy for me to simply complain about the strike without offering some suggestions, so I will now offer a few suggestions that OC Transpo management and city council can consider to ease things during this strike.

  1. Open the T ransitway to taxis, to get them off of the main city roads to speed up there service.
  2. Lower the taxi tarrifs in half for the remainder of this strike to make it more affordable for those in need.
  3. Open the Queensway transit priority lanes to allow for carpooling (3+) and strictly enforce this.
  4. Offer an incentive program to downtown businesses to encourage teleworking.
  5. Consider letting a private company run routes 95,96,97 and 87 during this strike.
  6. Offer taxi vouchers to those on assistance to get to work/doctors.

We don't care how long it takes the city to get the right deal.  We know the city is saving approx $2mil a week during this strike, and hope this money can be put into offsetting the costs that the most needy of this city are helped.  The cost of backing down is too costly to give up.

For once the vast majority of the public is behind the whole council.  KEEP IT UP AND MAKE US PROUD!
Jason Dever

President, Greater Ashton Community Association

Hitler was going to invade Ottawa but…

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I found this on the Greater Ottawa Blog about the OC Transpo bus strike.

Spare me the constitution, I know better!

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Forgive me my ignorance, but my understanding is that licensing and regulating insurance and securities was a provincial responsibility.

Now, the National Post is reporting that the Federal Government is leaning towards one federal regulator.  I haven’t decided whether this is a good or bad thing, but it is yet again another area where a federal government decides to intrude on provincial responsibilities without reopening the Constitution.

This must stop.  Besides, we’d be better off letting the free market work, instead of rethinking it.

After the Speech from the Throne last November, Mr. Flaherty said Ottawa would forge ahead with "willing" provinces to create a national securities regulator.

Indeed, the rules governing the new regulator will give provinces the option not to participate.

Quebec has long objected to the national scheme, and Alberta and British Columbia have been lukewarm about joining such a body.

However, the regulator's proposed structure would allow publicly traded companies based in the no-go provinces the ability to bypass the provincial watchdogs and file their documents -- such as prospectuses, financial statements and proxy circulars -- with the national regulator. This is likely to be addressed in the legislation, because currently companies need to file in each province if they want to sell shares to its residents, including large institutional buyers such as the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Quebec.

In an attempt to appease provinces, the national regulator would keep regional offices in provinces that have certain expertise -- such as Alberta with energy and British Columbia with mining.

Just what we need.  Another Super Govt organization with split federal/provincial responsibilities/organizations.  Whatever “savings” businesses will find in dealing with one regulator will be passed down to us consumers as taxpayers paying fore more bureaucrats to run things.  It doesn’t really work that well in the US with the SEC…

Friday, January 09, 2009

Is big government the way out? Atlas Shrugged.

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I was reading a posting in Western Standard’s Shotgun blog where they commented on an article.  I have to dust off my copy of the book and read it.

This is supply-side economist Stephen Moore on the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal:

For the uninitiated, the moral of [Atlas Shrugged} is simply this: Politicians invariably respond to crises -- that in most cases they themselves created -- by spawning new government programs, laws and regulations. These, in turn, generate more havoc and poverty, which inspires the politicians to create more programs . . . and the downward spiral repeats itself until the productive sectors of the economy collapse under the collective weight of taxes and other burdens imposed in the name of fairness, equality and do-goodism.

In the book, these relentless wealth redistributionists and their programs are disparaged as "the looters and their laws." Every new act of government futility and stupidity carries with it a benevolent-sounding title. These include the "Anti-Greed Act" to redistribute income (sounds like Charlie Rangel's promises soak-the-rich tax bill) and the "Equalization of Opportunity Act" to prevent people from starting more than one business (to give other people a chance). My personal favorite, the "Anti Dog-Eat-Dog Act," aims to restrict cut-throat competition between firms and thus slow the wave of business bankruptcies. Why didn't Hank Paulson think of that?

These acts and edicts sound farcical, yes, but no more so than the actual events in Washington, circa 2008. We already have been served up the $700 billion "Emergency Economic Stabilization Act" and the "Auto Industry Financing and Restructuring Act." Now that Barack Obama is in town, he will soon sign into law with great urgency the "American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan." This latest Hail Mary pass will increase the federal budget (which has already expanded by $1.5 trillion in eight years under George Bush) by an additional $1 trillion -- in roughly his first 100 days in office.

The current economic strategy is right out of "Atlas Shrugged": The more incompetent you are in business, the more handouts the politicians will bestow on you. That's the justification for the $2 trillion of subsidies doled out already to keep afloat distressed insurance companies, banks, Wall Street investment houses, and auto companies -- while standing next in line for their share of the booty are real-estate developers, the steel industry, chemical companies, airlines, ethanol producers, construction firms and even catfish farmers. With each successive bailout to "calm the markets," another trillion of national wealth is subsequently lost. Yet, as "Atlas" grimly foretold, we now treat the incompetent who wreck their companies as victims, while those resourceful business owners who manage to make a profit are portrayed as recipients of illegitimate "windfalls."

Read the rest here.

Testing voice recognition in live writer

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So it turned out using fire fox with vista voice recognition was an exercise in futility.

So now I'm going to use live writer to see if I can write my blog entries without having to spend hours undoing  and repeating what I've written.

I like the fact that I can access all of my items at once.  However it is a little more tricky using this tool that I was expecting.  But we shall see how it continues in this because I would like to write some more blog entries.

I am not really liking this program.  When I say words it moves all over the screen and selects things that I'm not expecting it to, and I have to talk really slow.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Voice dictation does it suck or help?

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This is my first post using voice dictation software and trying to figure out the intricacies between browsers will fire fox and to explore is very frustrating because at times fire fox just completely ignores the Internet explorer recourse to repeat myself if I stopped during dictation in the middle of one paragraph and then I go back into it again for this to recognition software to decide that is not a text box and mark and I have to white parity of the copy and paste it and then a really works.

I injured my shoulder many months ago and it has gotten worse and worse month by month day by day to the point now where my right shoulder is in great pain, completely immobilized, so I can only use my left hand. This is difficult because I am right handed. If you have ever tried using a keyboard with just your left hand, you will see what I am talking about.

My wife has complained for years that this is a right handed world and I intellectually acknowledge this, but now I know the reality: life sucks if you are left handed. OK, it's challenging. With one hand it's aggravating. Add a mouse its awkward if not impossible to do everything together.

So I'm going to journal my adventures or some would say to misadventures to get out my frustrations as well as my successes as I venture forward in this brave new world from my bed.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

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I just found a really neatlink to the Joseph Claude Institute in St. Boniface, Manitoba.

Sir Joseph Claude Dubuc was my great-great grandfather and was one of the founding fathers of confederation.

Finding this place is spurring me on to do more research on him.
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Hey! This is my first post here in 3 years! Alot has changed since then. I got remarried to a wonderful woman, Christine, and we had a baby girl in January, Emily Grace!
Isnt she just the cutest thing you ever Saw?

Friday, July 04, 2003

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Today I found a really neat site to get Microsoft Reader e-books.E-Book Subject Collections--Illustrated Classics

Thursday, July 03, 2003

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Hi everyone. This is my first entry. I was introduced to blogging a few weeks ago when I was searching for something else.

I found out yesterday that my son has Autism. I have known this for over a year, but its the first time there was a real diagnosis to go along with my gut feel.

So many emotions to feel over it. A week ago I realized that my son was little Rain Man. He seems to be competent in some things, and then you realize he is in his own little repetitive world, and everything he sees is part of that context. You have to know his world to understand his communications. Most people cant and get frustrated with him. I know, I do sometimes, and I know him better than anyone.
Right now I am trying to inundate myself with readings and materials on Autism so that I can understand it, and help my son better.
Maybe this is meant for me to do something different with my life.

I am reading Unraveling the Mystery of Autism and Pervasive Development Disorder by Karyn Seroussi. I hope that it will give me some hope for my son as he grows.

He is a beautiful 4 year old. Big and sturdy, and he loves Thomas the Tank Engine and Bob the Builder. He loves Finding Nemo, the first movie I took him to see (and probably the last for a while)...

Well, I'll add more when I have more to say.