Monthly Archives: January 2013

For as long as I can remember, the Dept of Public Works would use ground salt to melt the surrounding snow and ice during the winter season. It usually helps but the after-effect would be dealing with salt residues around which can be a challenge for both pedestrians and motorists.

Nowadays, I noticed that they use liquid salt which do not leave any salt residue around. Frankly, I find this less bothersome when I hit the streets. A great amount of ice and snow would have already melted and the roads and pavements would become quite passable as a result.

Kudos for whoever thought of this!


I’m very aware that it already happened in the U.S. when all TV sets must go digital in their cable channels from the analog versions. Things take a while in Canada for that to happen but it finally did.

After initial announcements 2 years ago regarding this, my subscribing cable company is finally going to do it on Feb. 18,2013 as the ultimate deadline.  By that time, all those subscribers with tube TVs, LCD and plasma TVs have to have a digital adapter attached to it so as to continue getting streamlined cable channels but in digital form. Also, in addition to that, all those TVs aforementioned have no attached cable box , meaning no subscription to extra fancy cable package,just basic cable.

I got my  digital adapter and remote control set last month but only started to do it just now especially with the looming deadline ahead. They have already started in the Toronto area with regards to the digital switching  and it’s only a matter of time before they get to my city here. It can happen anytime this month or next month so it’s best to be prepared and not get caught off-guard in  case some of my cable TV channels suddenly disappear or get switched to other channels altogether.

I was so proud of myself(being somewhat mechanically challenged) that I was able to set up the digital adapter to my old tube-TV but the tricky part was deciphering its TV code so as to coordinate with the adapter and the TV set. Luckily, I didn’t have to go through it fully since it was clear that I needed to retain my old remote just to turn off and on my TV and use the new remote for all other cable TV functions. Reason was that my TV model was considered very old (12 yr model is considered old already?)

One thing for sure. If my old tube one day is no longer in service, the next TV will be one that I don’t have to put an adapter on. It’s similar to a pacemaker that you implant so as to regulate the heart rate. In this case, the adapter now controls the TV’s overall function.

With so many TV models out there(all flat TVs), nowadays, getting one at a good price should be an adventure unlike before when a few models were initially out and pricier too!

Just my 2 cents on this matter. Check with your local cable company regarding this if it’ll affect you too very soon.


Here in my neck of the woods, the Arctic blast still comes back from time to time. Just when you thought that it’s already warming up and the thaw starts after a snow fall, deep freezing temperatures would come back and all the unevaporated moisture around become ice sheets and other kind of formations.

Inspite of consistent salting, it can be very frustrating that this whole snow-thaw-ice cycle goes on and on.

As I had said in my previous blog 8-30-12  about making the most of life’s situations and making lemonade from lemons of life that we receive from time to time.

Well,apparently, I see around the city of numerous ice sheets being remodeled by enterprising folks into hockey or skating rinks for the kids who want to hone their hockey or skating skills.

Well, it looks like it’s a matter of making the most of this icy situation and turning it into an icy wonderland.

Enjoy it while we can,indeed!


With the frigid winter upon us, it’s very important that we be on the lookout for any flu/cold symptoms that may possibly come upon us.

Generally, both the flu and cold have similar symptoms like coughing,sneezing ,runny nose and sore throat. The differences lie with the fact that in flu symptoms, you also have aches and pains felt all over your body like headache and muscle aches. Add a fever to it and that more or less completes the picture.

Trying to avoid cold/flu symptoms would be a challenge since it involves a virus of the respiratory type which is invisible to the human eye and thrives on cold temperature.

The way to do this is through prevention. Keeping warm by wearing well-insulated and suitable winter clothing as well as avoiding big crowds as much as possible. Keeping distances from coughing and sneezing folks is another way but it would be very difficult if you happen to live with one under one roof. For those who need it unless they’re allergic to eggs, a flu shot is in order.

At the first sign of a cold, if you can, take a supplement like FX for example to help halt the progression of the symptoms. I had tried this before and my suffering ended fairly quickly after 3 days of coverage.

If unsuccessful, nature will have to take its course since there’s no known antibiotic for a virus as far as I know.

Drink a lot of fluids to stay hydrated,keep warm, take in orange juice for Vit C coverage, chicken noodle soup as a natural healing medium and plenty of rest to recharge your body.

Riding out the symptoms as well as this winter will be a challenge indeed.

Thank God , I haven’t had a cold yet this winter but I’ll be ready if it does happen.(Crossing my fingers)


Every 3rd Monday of January is considered a US national holiday because it commemorates the slain African-American civil rights activist Martin Luther King,Jr.

In Dr. King’s “I Have A Dream” speech, he made indirect references that someday, the black race will achieve great status in US society and government but that it probably wouldn’t happen in his lifetime.

It would be interesting to wonder what Dr. King would say if he was able to witness President Barack Obama’s presidential inauguration, not only once but twice considering that President Obama is the first African-American to hold the office of the US Presidency.

And to think that the 2nd inauguration would occur on MLK day didn’t escape President Obama’s notice since he took the oath of office on both the bibles of Dr. King and the late US President Abraham Lincoln.

The late President Lincoln was known as someone who qorked with numerous political parties so as to work on his political agendas. On a side note too was the fact that he emancipated the black slaves.
Such parallel symbolisms are hard to ignore and definitely now a permanent part of US history.

Long live freedom and democracy!


Per U.S. Consitutional guidelines, every U.S. presidential inauguration is held for 2 days specifically within  the 19th and 21st of January every 4 years. The first day holds a private inauguration and a public one on the second day.
This year is no exception and US President Barack Hussein Obama will have his second U.S. presidential inauguration as scheduled.

With a new political mandate given to him by his recent re-election victory, he has a lot of plans for his country which in a way depending on future developments will shape his legacy once he leaves office.

I expect him to be more assertive this time since he wouldn’t be thinking anymore of further re-election plans.

FYI: Per U.S. Constitutional guidelines, every president depending on re-election outcome can only be in office for two 4-year terms.(8 years total)

His first election victory was historic enough in so many respects. His first term in office was quite eventful .

His second term will be surely eventful too but definitely challenging especially with a recalcitrant Congress to deal with in trying to get his policies across for approval and passage into laws.

Whatever, today’s inauguration should be the start of a new day for a new , hopeful future ahead!

It’s a testament that the democratic process is running along as scheduled.


My local Zellers dept store(a Canadian mainstay) is closing its doors for good on March 14. As a result, it’s now on liquidation status with sale prices at an initial maximum of 60% off. Everything has to go, even the store fixings!
I had been there a few times since the start of the new year and it gets more interesting as certain depts gradually look more spacious as its respective store items get bought up. It then makes me wonder if by the time the store posts 90% off sale prices if there’s anything left to be sold at all. Most likely, you’ll only get slim pickings ‘coz all the good items would be gone by then.

My dictum in shopping during a closing-out sale is to buy what I need at discounted prices. Don’t buy something that you don’t need or want just because it’s on sale. Don’t think that the item that you want to buy would still stick around on the last liquidation sales week.

Be ready with the mindset that once you purchase a liquidation sale item that there’s no return nor exchange possible afterwards.

With that in mind, happy shopping!

BTW, my local Zellers will soon be converted to a Target store and will be open in December this year.


We all want the best for ourselves. We all feel at times that we are better than the rest. We are all taught to aspire for what we want to get in life through hard work and steadfast determination.

Now in terms of getting to our goals, sometimes, the quest for personal achievement and perceived personal perfection can sometimes get us askewed from the path of righteousness. It can get really screwy when one might want to win at all costs even through dishonest means.

Case in point is Lance Armstrong previously known as a 7 time Tour de France cycling champion. I say “previously’ since after extensive evidence of doping found through the years , he was stripped of all his cycling titles and was imposed a lifetime ban on participating in cycling competitions.

After several years of steadfast denials and even slandering his detractors, he now comes clean.

My question: WHY NOW?

I find his soon-to-be released interview this Thursday with Oprah all timed to his convenience and on his terms after consulting with his publicists and lawyers. Probably the statute of limitations had already expired for him and he perceives himself as safe to ‘fess up now without any penalties. Criminal charges perhaps, he’ll get away from but I don’t know about civil charges especially the slandering of his detractors.

My take on this is that Mr. Armstrong wants to ‘fess up now is because he wants to regain back his reputation, have the lifetime ban lifted,get back into a sporting career. and possibly,receive  all those endorsement deals.($$$$$$) again.

However, he’s going to have to try very hard because he had made a lot of people upset and disillusioned with him for his gross dishonesty in terms of lying and cheating.
He’s going to learn the hard way that for people to change their perception of him will have to come on their own terms and time and NOT HIS.

He should know that people don’t want to be treated as if they’re stupid which is really insulting.
However, if his orchestrated confession is his way of thinking that people are still stupid and gullible in believing him, he really needs to get both his   head and  ego checked.

Shame on him for thinking that he must win at all costs.

Being a sports icon involves a degree of responsibility since one also serves as a model for kids who aspire to compete to make themselves a better person and to learn the lessons of fair play and good sportsmanship.

I pity his kids who’ll have to deal with his personal albatross as they grow up.

He has done a great deal of good to his Livestrong Foundation for cancer survivors being one himself but it may suffer by guilt of association with him when the foundation starts experiencing fundraising problems.Perhaps, his confession now is one way to help stem that possible upset.

Honesty may be the best policy but in this case, it was quite too late for him to come clean ‘coz again, he did it on his own time and terms to save his own skin.

As I see it, he wasn’t saying he’s sorry that he doped and cheated in his sport. He was sorry that he got caught.

For Mr. Armstrong, he really needs a big dose of reality.

We have a saying which I think he needs to remember always,albeit quite late now:

It takes years to build a reputation and only a few seconds to destroy it.

May God help him!


As I had mentioned in some of my previous blogs, there’s a lot of snow and ice around during the winter. Whether you’re a driver or a pedestrian, it is very important to travel around roads and sidewalks free or at least cleared of a substantial amount of snow and/or ice or else, it’ll put a cramp on your usual travels.

I had  recently contacted the Dept. of Public Works in my city to report areas where extra ploughing and salting were needed considerably.

Mind you, DPW  does appreciate your feedback as a citizen/taxpayer. It’s not humanly possible for them to know every nook and cranny in the city that needs ploughing and/or salting. Our taxes are put to good use when they provide such service so as to make winter living here as comfortable as possible for us.

Take note of this as a PSA(public service announcement).



As you know,mon ami, I live in Atlantic Canada(the Maritime provinces as we call it) and winter is no stranger to me. Yet, even though how long I have lived here, getting used to the winter cold can be a challenge sometimes.As they say, just grin and bear it but it can really get dicey with the recent Arctic blast that I had encountered last week.

Here in Canada, we report the weather in Centigrade but for the benefit of my readers who follow the weather more in Fahrenheit, I’ll do so.

Last week, I had a temp of 4 deg Fahrenheit and a wind chill of -28 deg Fahrenheit which I consider as an Arctic blast. Frankly, I find it too early into this winter season to experience it. Perhaps, sometime in late January or most of  February would be considered as the average  period of time.

Anyway, it’s like living inside a freezer. Add the strong gushing winds and you’ll have a magnified chilly sensation to boot!

Everything around was hard snow and ice. If you really need to get around, I’d advise you to wear a traction device on your footwear or else, you’ll end up falling and sustaining some fractures. I  kid you not.

Dress warmly as well. Fully insulated outerwear , inner clothing and underwear are a must.

Perhaps the severity of this year’s winter is a hint of possible global warming, I’m not sure.

Last winter was mild for me yet last year’s summer was a real scorcher as compared to previous summers. Global warming hints,too? Not sure either.

Nevertheless, I”l just continue to grin and bear this winter season until spring comes along which is about 3 months away. Right now, the temp is within 0-10 deg Fahrenheit with no wind chill nor gusty winds. Much better!