Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sometimes, you just have to write about reality, removing a BATHTUB stopper

UPDATE: July 11, 2012  Three years has past and its time to get to the bottom of this project all over again.

The bathtub plug, out of the drain, threaded at the bottom

Or, if you prefer, rightside up as a side elevation.

My bathtub started to not drain properly, so I went on the internet and discovered that I could find more dirt on politicians that I can on finding an easy method of removing a singular bathtub plug. Yes, a bathtub plug, which is not to be confused by the layperson as being the same as a bathtub drain. BIG DIFFERENCE!!!

The "plug", in this case is no where near as to what the BC Liberals are doing every time they pay advertisers to write about how they have been spending our tax dollars on promoting themselves. Its an absolute "No" on finding a "plug" that shows, and tells a method like a "How does it work" scenario that should be available on the internet.

I can only speak for my own home, which is in its infancy (2001) when compared to our old home (1924) on the same property. By BC Building code laws only new products may be used for toilets (ensuite/bathroom), bathtubs (bathroom), sinks (kitchen), and basins (bathroom). The old tub's stopper was a rubber plug thingy, which was great because with the more volume of water contained in the bathtub, the greater the pressure of the water on the plug.

The knurled part on top is for pulling up and twisting, it has nothing to do with the removal of the plug from the drain. The object in removing the plug is to twist in a counter clockwise position while its almost down, and plugging the drain. Too much force will unscrew the knurled part, too little pressure, and nothing happens. However once the plug is unscrewed, with the knurled part in tact (with a little help from a pair of visegrips) it then becomes a simple matter of getting down to the nitty-gritty work of cleaning that which lies beneath the bathtub plug.

Forget about a liquid drain cleaner, the blockage is typically within the first two inches of the bottom of the bathtub, besides, usng a toxic drain cleaner only adds to the pollution that is killing our planet.

My theory on why to write about a bathtub and its stopper is simple, most people who have access to a computer, typically have access to a bathtub, and some day they will want to know how to make it work, and oh, one other minor detail, the overflow that supposedly is designed to prevent the water from running over the top and not cause major damage throughout the house, is in fact NOT capable of doing exactly that. The hole in the wall of the tub is more than large enough but the piece of chrome that covers the hole isn't.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Gold medal for venue construction workers? What?

".....You know, Canada is the only country that's ever hosted an Olympics that hasn't won a gold medal when they were hosting. In 2010, the Olympics are coming back to Canada. Canadians are winning gold, and there's going to be lots of British Columbians amongst those gold-medal winners." - Premier Gordon Campbell
"The government couldn't say how many of the medals were given away or how much they cost, but one thing's for sure: They were draped around the necks of the recipients by the Big Kahuna himself." - Michael Smyth, The ProvincePublished: Friday, November 21, 2008

Is it my imagination, or Gordon Campbell's spin doctors have convinced me that there isn't about to be a Provincial election in 2009, afterall he did say there wouldn't be a Fall Session for 2008, and there is one, five days in breadth.
The Chinese government blew it when they had a beautiful, unblemished child singing their National anthem during the Summer Olympics opening ceremonies, and then, when it was found out she was lip syncing, well all hell broke loose.
Last week, Mike Farnworth, NDP MLA, stood up in the Legislature and drew from his breast pocket a symbol that goes a long way to proving that Premier Gordon Campbell is no better than the Chinese. The IOC, via VANOC, went to great lengths to impose the law when it came to copyright infringement on their trademarked five rings, including their medals. Local businesses were told to change their names, and their logos, but when it came to awarding gold medals to venue workers for a job well done, the BC Liberal Leader reproduced knock-offs of the medals as if he were handing out carrots and didn't have the balls to admit that he had crossed the line, especially when he took the unprecedent step to put his own name, and title, on the gold medal.
Mr. Premier, its 2008, not June of 2009. The provincial election hasn't happened and yet you've made the assumption that you will be the Premier in 2009.
Arrogant, you betcha!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Note to Premier Campbell: "Booster" was a downer; "Pumps" may be too

In todays newspaper its being reported that the NDP are ahead of the BC Liberals in the polls by five points, and its all because of the government's own doing, for having introduced the Carbon Tax and pay hikes for their executive.

I have a suggestion for the government (if they want to stay in power), please, Please, don't do another one of those photo shoots where its only the BC Liberal MLA's that get to hand deliver Booster car seats to their constituents.

From a CBC News file still residing on the internet:

"....ministry officials acknowledged that only Liberal MLAs were given the chance to distribute the booster seats and to get their pictures taken for local papers, though they insist it wasn't meant to be political."

Fact is, after checking the website for the BC Government, even after their having been villified by the press, and the public on this issue, they still leave the impression that not everyone has equal access to the Booster car seat program when only 2,000 have been shared out across the province amongst low income families. In Metro Vancouver alone, there must be at least the same number.

On page A11, the Vancouver Sun headline is "B.C. to start paying for kids' insulin pumps", and even before I can say "Give me another shot of a Hawaiian brewed Jack Daniels, bartender, officer" I'm stopped in my tracks because of yet another photo op, which is surely going to be taken the wrong way by the public, again. Sure, its the moment that is being orchestrated ... celebrated.... but it only shows the BC Liberals doing another one of their one minute high five's act without breaking into a sweat with their "'blue-la' hoop challenge as part of World Diabetes Day".

......."Government will fund insulin pumps for eligible children with type 1 diabetes, announced Premier Gordon Campbell and Health Services Minister George Abbott."

Now this promise is far different than the one on the Booster seats which was restricted to only 2,000. How different in actual numbers is not clear.
Are we getting close to a Provincial election?

In a Letter to the Editor in the Vancouver Sun, the writer indicated that as they attended an advanced voting station, an election official a big, booming voice for all to hear .... told the voter to remove her lapel pin which was in support of her candidate (I'm guessing here, since voting is still done by secret ballot).

The point is, as much as the BC Liberals want to show they are the ones who are doing something for the province, on an hourly basis... just look at the Press Releases.... I have to ask, where the heck is that Elections BC official to say Mr. Premier, you are not permitted to shovel our Taxpayer's monies off of the back of our hybrid truck!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

MIllennium but the tip of the iceberg for BC Liberals

So you think $100 million is too much to secretly be given to Millennium, on top of the already loaned $193 million which started the project off for the Athletes Village. Well think about this:

The more I read about the $100 million in-camera deal struck between Vancouver City council and Millennium, the more I ask myself about the BC Liberals Executive Council, which is still holding fast to the claim that the 2010 Winter Olympics will cost no more than $600 million.
From day 1, Gordon Campbell has thrown a veil of secrecy over all financial deals that various government departments are kicking into the Olympics, without the public having a clear understanding of just what he has spent, continues to spend.

In a CBC News report dated September 14, 2006 the acting provincial auditor general, Arn van Iersel said that the tally for the Olympics is closer to $1.5 billion than the budgeted $600 million. Cabinet minister responsible for the Olympics, Colin Hansen, said that he was confident that the BC Liberals would stay on target, in direct costs, and there's the political rub... "direct costs".
Where the acting auditor general included the $600 million cost of upgrading the Sea to Sky highway from Vancouver to Whistler, thereby doubling the cost of the Olympics, he also included security and running the Olympic secretariat which altogether quadruples the budget.
As taxpayers, municipal, provincial (several taxes and more each day) and federally, we are the ones responsible for paying the Olympic bill, and are entitled to the right of having Full Disclosure made to us without the mumbo-jumbo talk of "direct" and "indirect costs", as if that makes a difference to what we pay.

If Gordon Campbell can't see the political fallout that awaits him in his endeavor to secure a third term as Premier of the province of British Columbia, then the coming Fall Session agenda, brought on by worldwide economic forces, surely will, where he and the BC Liberals will have to come clean on just how many Millennium size projects he has squirreled away in his cookie jar.

The BC Liberals have turned their New Era promise of being an Open and Transparent government into an Executive Council entity that may easily be compared to the City of Vancouver's own in-camera council sessions.

One off-topic example of proof is no further away that the much delayed BC Rail trial for David Basi, Robert Virk, and Aneal Basi where the BC Liberals have stalled the process of releasing all Cabinet documents related to the corruption charges against the three, for nearly five years!


"Memo to next mayor: Leave the real estate game to the moguls
Miro Cernetig, Vancouver SunPublished: Monday, November 10, 2008"

Friday, November 7, 2008

Is BC Liberal's Stink bidding CNR to gain access to BC Rail's coal fields?

Its 7:03am, and I guess by now everyone has read the latest edition of the Vancouver Sun section on Issues & Ideas A13 (Friday, November 7, 2008) written by Canwest writer Kieth Woolhouse: "The stink bid path to profit - Abnormally low offers on stocks with rebound potential can get you in at the bottom of wild markets", if you haven't then here's the link, and you might be asking yourself why bother.

...... well one of the reasons you might want to check out the article, is that one of the suggested Stink bids ("a successful stink bid is like turning back the hands of time and buying a stock in 2008 at a price it sold for in 2004, or even further back than that) includes CNR. this is the same CNR which "paid" one billion dollars to the provincial governing BC Liberals which included a 900 year stranglehold on our wholly owned rail system, which is not even five years old but is already destined to be but one glowing example (because of coal deposits in north eastern BC being needed by China to break the back on the Carbon Tax benefits to locals) of what to buy into, now.


It occurred to me that if a political entity such as the BC Liberals were high on the receiving end of CNR donations for being such goooooood boys in the run up to provincial election times, what would the BC Liberals be investing in on behalf of British Columbians, and would they be doing a Stink bid on one of their benefactors during these volatile economic times.... and yes they just might be ....... because according to BCIMC (page 10 of 77), we, that's the "Royal we" like in Crown, do hold over Five million shares (5,722,081) with an Unaudited value as of March 31, 2008 of $241,787,971.37.

On that same BCIMC website we also hold 43 shares of China Citic Bank-H with a Market Value of $23.30 for the same period which since the March 31, 2008 now looks like this.

In the past, BC Governments had used the Pension funds of their public employees to bankroll special projects by injecting funds into depressed companies, especially the forest industry, but like all other pension funds there has safeguards been put in place to ensure that pension remain on a sound fianancial basis, but of BCIMC, and its role that it plays as a hand maiden to the Executive Council in Victoria for its political gains.

We've all seen the work that Sean Holman on Public Eye Online has done by FOI searches and pointing us to Elections BC listing contributions made to provincial political parties, but has anyone done a thorough search of what BCIMC is doing?

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Canada's public pension safety net is sound, but benefits won't provide a lavish lifestyle

Canada's public pension safety net is sound, but benefits won't provide a lavish lifestyle - Harvey Enchin - Vancouver Sun.

For 17 years I was my union's Pension Trustee, one of six (five union members (all layperson) + one independent (professional, luckily for us a recently retired actuary)). As we reach a time in our life where the age 65 denotes its time to retire, questions swirl about us just how much money is going to be in the cookie jar. Okay, maybe for some, retirement is still happening at Freedom 55, but damn few when compared to the trade workers where 18% have a collective agreement with their employers, public and private.

I may be wrong but I've always thought that the public (government employees) portion of the 18% received their pension benefit, via the 82% of the population that don't belong to a union.... but that's a whole other issue, especially in light of Gordon Campbell now promising that there will be a pension plan having been hand delivered in his ECONOMIC PLAN SUPPORTS FAMILIES AND BOOSTS PRODUCTIVITY press release of Oct. 22, 2008 :

2. A new pension opportunity: The Province
will create a new private sector pension opportunity for British Columbians who
currently have no access to a pension plan. About 75 per cent of private sector
workers in B.C. currently have no access to a group pension plan. Flowing from
work done with the Joint Expert Panel on Pension Standards with Alberta, in the
months ahead the government will spearhead the creation of a privately financed,
defined contribution plan that will be available to employers, employees and
self-employed people on a voluntary basis.

OOOps, there seems to be a discrepancy between my figure of 82% and the BC Liberals 75% which just mean that 7% of BC's population are eg. homeless, drug gang participants, etc......

The Joint Expert Panel on Pension has six participants with these three representing BC's interest:

Scott Sweatman, British Columbia Co-chair
Mr. Sweatman is Senior Legal Counsel with the national firm of Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP, specializing in pension, tax, trust and benefit issues and works out of the firm’s Vancouver and Calgary offices. He has written and spoken on pension regulatory compliance, pension communication and disclosure, liability of the employer for group benefit coverage, pension surplus entitlement issues, and pension policies. Mr. Sweatman has served on a number of committees on pension issues including as past chair of the Canadian Pension & Benefits Institute and the Pension, Benefits and Compensation Section of the Canadian Bar Association (B.C).
John Gilfoyle, British Columbia member
Mr. Gilfoyle, a Senior Consultant with Watson Wyatt Canada in Vancouver, is an actuary and well-respected investment strategist, primarily responsible for developing investment policies for pension fund clients to ensure the delivery of pension promises. John is past Chairman of the Economic Statistics Committee of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries, was a member of the CIA Task Force on Financial Economics and has made presentations at seminars and conferences on investment topics as well as interviews for radio and television.

John Davies, British Columbia member
Mr. Davies is an Engineer and Pension Issues Speaker/Consultant, with extensive hands-on experience addressing pension problems in a unionized environment, for both multi-employer and single-employer plans. Mr. Davies served as Chairperson of the Carpentry Workers Pension and Benefit Plans of BC during the plans
restructuring in 1999.

Panel Terms of Reference

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Dump trucking Gordo in for a rough ride at the 2009 polls

Given a choice between a "reversing dump truck" with or without an electronic beeper, I prefer to be forewarned that the economy is tanking rather than having a government give no warning at all by having killed the Fall Session of the Legislature where the public's business could be discussed in an open and transparent forum without the BC Liberal Convention being informed first.

Campbell slams NDP, offers more economic measures at Liberal convention

"At one point, the silver-haired politician mused that whenever he heard a New Democrat speaking, in the back of his mind, he always heard a certain sound.
At that point, technicians cued a tape of a dump truck in reverse, sounding its electronic beeper.
The gag brought peels of laughter from the assembled Liberal throng.
"That sound has a bunch of messages: Danger! Watch Out! Someone's goin' backwards and they probably can't see where they're goin'! That's the NDP," Campbell shouted, barely able to keep a straight face." SNIP

Pet Vets ripping off owners via medication prescriptions

CBC did it last November with "Cat's got your wallet", so too has David Baines done it now with "Barking up same tree over pet drugs" in the Vancouver Sun, but when is there going to be a change made to the lucrative markup fees that Vetrinarians now enjoy, at the expense of loving (distraught) pet owners?