Friday, March 25, 2011

Canadian's Don't Want an Election...but...

Can we stop with the “Canadians don’t want an election” line? I don’t want one, no one I know really wants one. Problem is, we need one. Will we be better off? I don’t know. But think of it this way: This Government was brought down for CONTEMPT. The budget, though talked about, was not why this government was brought down. This is historic.

When the Conservatives took power, it was in the wake of the sponsorship scandal. They campaigned on transparency and accountability. Well, with EVERYTHING that has happened since they took office, which I won’t list here (it’s WAY to long), they have been far from transparent. That is the reason why they were taken out. They withheld necessary information from Parliament. Information that was not privileged, and was vital for Parliament to make an informed decision. It was about the fighter jets, which, coincidentally, were apparently NOT in the budget. They weren’t transparent, so now they’re being held accountable.

Except, they likely WON’T be held accountable. Why? Because not a lot of people have cared what the current Government has done. All they see and remember is the fighting and bickering, and they don’t seem to remember the various “scandals” that have plagued this Government. It’s just apparently not something that a lot of Canadians care about. They really should since these are the people who decide things on OUR behalf.

Let’s also stop with this election is “unnecessary”. It might be turn out that way, but it’s the only way for you to be held accountable for ALL the mistakes that have been committed, though, technically, it’s only punishment for one. Remember, this was a MINORITY Government, you needed to work with the rest of the parties, and you didn’t.

I think one of the real reasons Canadians don’t want an election is the attack ads. We’re tired of them. They are not effective. And, despite what some might think, there is a BIG difference between what an attack is, and what information is. Kind of like the difference between the truth, and what is spun out of it.

I feel that because of the nastiness that has been displayed by Politicians in the past years, people have sort of tuned out politics. This is unfortunate because it means most people cannot make a truly informed decision as to which party to vote for. The good news is, the current Government now has to stop using YOUR money to tell YOU how good THEIR Economic Action Plan worked. $26 Million for 3 months of ads, for a program that’s ending. That’s something you didn’t know…right? Did you know that they’ve also spent $6.7 Million on snowmobile equipment in Quebec, and $300,000 in the rest of Canada? Voter apathy will likely play a role in this election as well. The last one was something like 59%, an all time low. It’s one day, it takes little time, but it’s your civic duty to cast a ballot. It’s not mandatory, nor should it be, but participation in YOUR democratic process is vital for a healthy democracy to continue.

I think we’ve been in an election for some time now. We’ve had the CPC ads for a while (non-government), and the Government ads lauding themselves (that you pay for). They’ve had funding announcements (non-next budget related) for a while as well. I hope soon people will realize that they’re trying to buy votes. It’s not direct, and it’s not illegal, but it has to change some people’s minds. The Government knew an election would be coming, and worked ahead of the curve.

One more talking point to drop: Reckless Coalition. The current Conservative party is a merger between the Reform Party and the Progressive Conservatives. They are the ones that are the reckless coalition.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Remedy, Tattoo Rock Parlour

EDIT: More photos are available HERE

After a whirlwind week, where it appeared that I was being stalked by varied, but linked alternate careers, I had a chance to photograph a friends band at Tattoo Rock Parlour in downtown Toronto.

What a great venue. Though the stage is small, as a photographer, the rest of the floor is wonderful. Various levels for differing shots, as well as areas that you can kind of bury yourself in so as to not be in the way of others enjoying the show. Places where I like to get into to! On the plus side, I've worked with the audio guy many times in the past, so I also had a secure place to store my gear.

Here are a few of the shots from the show:

(Click to embiggen)

Visit their website at Gimme The Remedy

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

New Jackets Don't Conform?

It's hard to tell from this video, but it appears as though this officer is explaining WHY certain officers do not have their badges on their jackets. My photo's from earlier protests will follow the 'transcript'.

8:30 - 9:00:

Officer: ...the underlying velcro is on there. [inaudible] is how I can wear my nametag. He just got his jacket a little while ago, there's no underlying velcro piece. We said where's the velcro piece? And this is just uh, straight from the people that distribute our police equipment. The nametags are not to be on this because they have uh, a water repellent quality to them. And the nametag... (unsure) So it voids the warranty...

"A little while ago" to me, indicates NEWER rather than OLDER. Therefore he is claiming that the newer jackets cannot conform to the Uniform Code due to warranty and water repellent issues. This is ridiculous...on MANY levels. IF that is the case, the jackets are personally issued, presumably, you only get one. Therefore, the name and badge number can be PRINTED on the jacket, much like POLICE is emblazoned on them. Barring that...HOW is the TPD logo attached on the arm. Either way, it proves the name badge CAN be attached. I can't speak to the warranty issue since I don't know how the equipment distributer procures the product. Either way...they have the wrong one, and MUST replace them to conform to the code. Honestly, I hold nothing against this Officer, I believe that he believes what he is saying in answering the question.

He says that they asked about the velcro, meaning they at least did some due diligence in conforming to the law. Regardless, they are wearing them anyway, and they know it's wrong, so they ARE responsible. They KNOW they are responsible since he said they asked about it! On top of all this, we seem to have a procurement process in place that doesn't know WHAT they need, or are required to have. This is also troubling.

Here are the two shots from an earlier protest that I shot. You can see that there are three different jacket types, two with badges, one without. As stated earlier, it looks like the ones WITHOUT velcro are the the NEW ones. Note, these photos only show two different types, the third is the Officer in the video with his name badge opposite "Police".

(Click to embiggen)

This officer has been issued a jacket without velcro for a name badge. Therefore, it should have been handed back.

Even after 90 officers have supposedly been disciplined with the loss of a days pay, they still continue to do this. Is the potential loss of a days pay worth NOT being identified BY NAME in a criminal situation...looks like!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Energy Bars

Super Energy Bars

A lot of energy bars give you energy with sugars, extracts, and other 'modified' products. My recipe contains little, if any of that. But...they'll keep you awake for hours!

The nice thing about this recipe is that its pretty much up to you. You can add what you want, if you want. You can eliminate or substitute ingredients without much hassle.

*Note, I buy Flax Powder with Goji and Blueberries already prepared*




Hemp Powder (or Hemp Hearts)


Wheat Germ


Flax Powder


Goji Berries (dried)

Combined with above

Blueberries (dried)

Combined with above



Chia Seeds




Concentrace (84 Minerals)

½ tsp

Peppermint Extract

½ tsp

Bakers Chocolate

1 square

Cocoa Powder


Agave Nectar




Combine the dry ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until powdery with some 'chunks' still visible.

Add the Concentrace and Peppermint extract. Blend again.

Add the honey and agave. Blend again.

Adding the honey and agave may be too thick for the food processor, if so, remove from food processor and proceed to mix by hand. They should just be firm enough to hold their shape.

TIP: Silicon baking sheets allow you to mix the mixture and form it into a bar on the same sheet.

Form the mixture into a large bar and place in the fridge for about an hour to firm up.

After one hour, remove them from the fridge and cut into bite size pieces. Return to the fridge for another hour to finish firming up.

Other possible ingredients are bee pollen, dried ginger, rolled oats, dried fruits, dried berries... the list is pretty much endless.