Creating Characters in Springtime
41 minutes ago
A brief-yet-ongoing journal of all things Carmi. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll reach for your mouse to click back to Google. But you'll be intrigued. And you'll feel compelled to return following your next bowl of oatmeal. With brown sugar. And milk.
More effort needed to reduce wait timesYour turn: Has your life - or that of a close relative or friend - been touched by a delay like this? I hope you'll share your story here.
Published Saturday, May 20, 2006
The London Free Press
If you get sick in and around London, you got some good news this week: wait times for some procedures have come down since last year.
The danger in reports such as this lies in our assumption that the battle has been won - it hasn’t.
Health-care wait times are still too high, and for some life-threatening illnesses like cancer, they’re still on the rise.
We’ve used up plenty of ink in recent years discussing the challenges of our health-care system. Doubtless, if our local doctors, nurses and other health care professionals could deliver immediate service to everyone who needs it, they would. But that's a pipe dream.
I hope our provincial government realizes that these results are incredibly personal. Delays add additional stresses to patients and their families. Not only do they have to deal with often-ominous diagnoses, but now they’re forced to wait and worry that they’ll get sicker in the interim.
Sadly, some will die. And despite this week’s good news, we’re not done. Governmental budget bosses need to continue to improve their prioritization efforts.
McCartney breakup clouds true heroesYour turn: Tell us what you really feel about entertainment "news".
Published Friday, May 19, 2006
The London Free Press
It’s been an overwhelmingly tragic week. Canada's military death toll in Afghanistan mounts, while four men die in an accident and rescue attempts at a B.C. mine.
Now, into this mix, comes news Sir Paul McCartney and his wife, Heather Mills, have separated.
The story of the ex-Beatle’s marriage breakup is now global. Reporters, observers, unnamed sources and regular folks who happened to be hanging around when the couple breezed into Canada to protest the seal hunt are all fighting for their 15 minutes of fame.
Financial analysts are speculating on the size of a divorce settlement. Television entertainment show hosts breathlessly report the latest so-called news.
I suppose it doesn’t matter to any of us that the couple's breakup will have no effect whatsoever on our everyday lives. Nor will the daily challenges of Jessica and Nick, Britney, or any other disposable celebrities of the moment.
Yet they routinely divert attention away from the true heroes among us. I know that’s the way the news business often works, but it speaks volumes about what we should treasure most.
Bail decision makes mockery of justiceYour turn: Do you think his picture should be published periodically as a warning against would-be victims? It was recently published in the paper, but who keeps newspapers? I'm thinking more along the lines of a web site that keeps the faces of serial offenders visible on an ongoing basis. Thoughts?
Published Thursday, May 18, 2006
The London Free Press
The fact that Edward Kelly is free on bail sends another signal that Canada’s justice system coddles criminals and ignores victims’ rights.
The London man just finished doing time for aggravated sexual assault after having sex with four women without revealing his HIV-positive status.
He was released last May after serving two-thirds of his sentence, but was jailed again in September after starting a relationship with an 18-year-old woman. Once again, she didn’t know he carried HIV.
In December, the parole board told Kelly that he is indifferent to the consequences of his actions. Yet he walked free on Monday.
We all know it takes two to tango. No one should initiate any relationship without full knowledge of a partner’s HIV status. Safe sex is a virtual given.
But the fact remains a man serially initiates relationships with the biological equivalent of a loaded gun.
Why is he walking the streets?
Energy program cancellation a shockYour turn: What kind of message does this decision send to our population? What's your government's energy policy where you live?
Published Wednesday, May 17, 2006
The London Free Press
One of the outcomes of the May 2 federal budget is a shocker: the feds don't want us to save energy. They cancelled funding for EnerGuide for Homes, a program that provided grants averaging $737 to homeowners who made their homes more energy efficient. A similar program aimed at helping low-income households was also axed.
Perhaps they hoped to avoid controversy by officially confirming the program's death last weekend on an obscure government website.
As energy costs skyrocket to historic highs, it is incomprehensible that any government would dare to reduce its efforts to help Canadians consume less. Governments must be leaders in encouraging citizens to maximize their energy investments.
There is, however, a silver lining: Ottawa says the Quebec and New Brunswick governments will pick up the tab for future grants.
The Ontario government should follow suit. Citizens are having trouble keeping their homes lit and warm. They want to save energy. Would someone in Queens Park let us know that our government is working on a resolution?
Minister's admission a brave wake-up callYour turn: Was this a smart or a dumb move for our esteemed minister? What - good, bad or indifferent - might possibly come out of something like this?
Published Tuesday, May 16, 2006
The London Free Press
Politicians typically aren't known for being gutsy heroes. Ontario Health Minister George Smitherman may change that. His admission last week that he was addicted to illegal drugs in the 1990s took a lot of courage.
It isn't easy to admit you've been a drug addict. Society tends to stigmatize its addicts, assuming they're directionless losers who crash out in dilapidated houses and forage for their next hit.
But Smitherman doesn't hang out in drug dens. As a provincial cabinet minister, he's got much more to lose than the typical crack smoker stereotypically sprawled across the back of a dimly lit room.
The minister's admission shatters the stigma and reinforces what has been increasingly obvious for too long: drug users and abusers don't exist solely on the fringe of society. They're everywhere. Friends, colleagues, neighbours and close family members can all fall under the spell of addiction.
How many among us would have the guts to admit it? How many among us would have the guts to applaud those who do?
Good: It was my birthday.What today taught me: Every day arrives as a package that has some good and some bad. The trick, I think, is to find the happy stuff and focus on that. Everything else is pretty much immaterial.
Bad: I was sick and had to stay home from work.
Good: My wife came home at lunch to make sure I was alive. It meant I got to spend time with her that I wouldn't have otherwise had.
Bad: I spilled the tea she made me.
Good: Whatever was left in my mug was pretty darn sweet.
Bad: My laptop died today.
Bad: It died five weeks after the 1-year manufacturer's warranty ran out.
Good: I had bought the extended warranty.
Good: I've been diligently doing my backups.
Good: We had cake.
Good: I got to watch our kids have cake. They were so excited because they got to help Mom pick the balloons and pack my present. It was an absolute zoo in the house (kids and sugar, who knew?)
Good: I looked over at my wife amidst the chaos and whispered to her that we created all this.
To Our GuestsYour turn: As I write this, word has come out of a major plane crash in the Black Sea. I've always been a confident flyer, but when the same type of plane (Airbus A320) that you've just flown - and that will carry you home in a few days - goes down, it gets you thinking about how unfair life can be sometimes. Please hold the victims of that tragedy in your thoughts and prayers.
In ancient times there was a prayer for
"The Stranger within our gates"
Because this hotel is a human institution to serve people,
And not solely a money making organization,
we hope that God will grant you peace and rest
while you are under our roof.
May this room and hotel be your "second" home.
May those you love be near you in thoughts and dreams.
Even though we may not get to know you,
we hope that you will be comfortable and happy
as if you were in your own house.
May the business that brought you our way prosper.
May ever call you make and every message you receive add to
your joy. When you leave, may your journey be safe.
We are all tralevers.
From "birth till death" we travel between eternities.
May these days be pleasant for you, profitable for society,
helpful for those you meet, and a joy to those
who know and love you best.
In March, RIM settled its patent dispute with NTP for US$612.5 million following a lengthy court battle. The two parties had attempted a settlement a year earlier for US$450 million, but the deal fell through.Your turn: Will lawsuits like this damage our ability to innovate?
The fact that RIM did finally agree to a settlement “opened the door for other companies to come out of the woodwork,” said Carmi Levy, an analyst with London, Ont.-based Info-Tech Research.
“It was only a matter of time before the other shoe dropped,” he said. “The NTP case encouraged other companies that felt they owned disputed technology to proceed with cases that stood a better chance of winning.”