Year: 2012 (page 1 of 4)


The other day I was attending a function in a hall at an arena. A group of young hockey players were leaving. They were pulling their equipment out to the cars/vans/suvs in wheeled bags. No-one was walking home, in fact, many of the young “athletes” were being picked up at the door. Their parents drove around to pick them up rather than everyone walking to their parked vehicle.

Something didn’t seem right. We’re trying to encourage people to exercise, but we’re giving off the wrong impression of exercise.

Sure, playing games is exercise, but it should be the added bonus to or a highlight of our exercise not the major or possibly the only part.

Exercise should be a part of living. Such activities as walking somewhere daily; taking the stairs instead of the elevator/escalator; when shopping parking further away from the mall/store entrance. You know, the simple stuff.

What does driving a child to an arena, having him/her wheel the equipment into the building and after the game picking her/him up at the door teach?
• exercise is an event that has to be organized.
• the trip to and from organized exercise shouldn’t require physical activity.
• why should I carry something I can roll on wheels (even though we all know that the stuff being pulled can easily be carried)?

I can understand a goal tender rolling equipment. It’s bulky, awkward and a tight fit through most doors. However, if exercise becomes a part of life rather than an event, goalers could also carry their stuff (when they have it all on, they seem to move easily when stopping pucks. I play some goal and lug my equipment over my shoulder in a wheelless bag. It’s all possible.

The idea of exercise being an event rather than part of life was highlighted in a cartoon a while back. The scene was a tourist couple in a 2nd world country having a lunch in a sidewalk café. There were no cars evident, the towns citizens were walking, carrying, pulling. The caption over the tourists was “This would be a nice place to stay, but there’s no fitness club”

So to be fit, move. Move often. Move more. Move lots.

The Plaidneck

Pesky charges

S & H

The retail business is a bit of a mystery.

When you go into a store and purchase something, especially if you purchase on sale, you will most often get that item at a good price. A price that is the same as their on line store.

To market to you in person, they have to:
• keep a supply of the item in a central warehouse.
• deliver the item to the store and probably in sufficient numbers to satisfy demand thus risking the necessity of overstock
• display and manage the item so that you will see it and no-one will pilfer it.
• heat and light the building and keep it neat, clean and appealing so that you will be enticed to continue to shop there.
• handle the item and have staff deal with you personally when you make the purchase.

To market by internet, catalogue or phone things get easier
• their stock is all in a central location
• they receive your order often electronically
• then they ship it.

However with the remote transaction the customer:
• is often charged a handling fee (no such fee in the physical store where the item is handled many times).
• is charged delivery (even if ordered by catalogue from the physical store, you get charged delivery to that store (as if they don’t deliver to themselves when they stock their shelves?).

I don’t really object to a realistic delivery charge for moving the goods from their warehouse to my home address. I didn’t have to drive anywhere at 40 to 50 cents per klick. I do; however, find it odd that there is a delivery charge to get the product to a store that would have had to deliver it to themselves to stock their shelves. The fiction that they are different divisions so operate separately just seems to be a dodge to charge more.

I have an acquaintance who sells on line. He doesn’t make much if anything on the item. His profit is shipping and handling.

So when comparing on line costs to in store costs, remember the handling and shipping costs.


State Religion

Parts of Canada have state religion supported by tax dollars, promoted by the media.

Our “constitution” and “charter of rights and freedoms” state in the section on Fundamental Freedoms:

Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:
• freedom of conscience and religion;
• freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
• freedom of peaceful assembly; and
• freedom of association.

We have freedom of religion

Approximately 70% of Canadians claimed to be Christian although we attend church infrequently. 60% of Canadian Christians (42.5% of all Canadians) are Roman Catholic 33% (22.5% of all Canadians) are main line Protestants. Ontario has approximately the same percentage of Christians but Roman Catholic and Protestant adherents are virtually equal

Islam makes up approx 2% of Canadians (3% of Ontarians) while Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism are approximately 1% (closer to 2% of Ontarians) each. There are 16.5% who profess no religious affiliation.

Although there is bickering and sometimes posturing, we can bicker and posture and worship (or not) pretty well as we choose. We do have freedom of religion.

State supported religion

All Churches/places of worship are usually charities and thus operate with funds for which most of donors receive a tax break. It can thus be argued that all religionb is State funded. However, in my province, one version of Christianity receives direct funding. Because Roman Catholicism was a minority at the time of Confederation, its status was guaranteed by the creation of separate funded schools.

Over time (as evidenced by current population statistics), Roman Catholicism ceased to be the minority and the various Protestant denominations now now make up about 23% of Canadians. Also, during the past half century, Public schools have, due to challenges and court cases, ceased to contain any religion while, also due court cases, the “separate” system has been expanded, built new schools and competes with others actively and vigorously for students.

In Ontario, the state directly funds only one form of religion one religion.

Does the Separate school system espouse religion? This following quote is from the policy statement of a local “separate” school. “The Catholic Secondary School will provide: A continuum for the acquisition of Catholic morals and values.”

This fact has been noted outside Canada. “In 1999, the United Nations Human Rights Committee determined that Canada was in violation of article 26 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, because Ontario’s Ministry of Education discriminates against non-Catholics by continuing to publicly fund separate Catholic schools, but not those of any other religious groups.”

There is state supported religion in Canada (at least the Ontario part).

The Media also supports one religion. How?

Our local newspaper has covered a recent change of Bishops in the local diocese (total population 90,000) extensively. It carried front page stories on the moving on of the sitting Bishop; it carried number of stories of the selection of the new Bishop and a of the new Bishop being welcomed. Actually decent local news deserving of coverage.

The local press also does very good articles on an annual Easter-time celebration of Stations of the Cross. There is nothing wrong with this coverage, but when coverage of other religious events, there appears to be a bias.

For example, during the past year and a half, one of the area’s Protestant denominations has been holding presbytery wide and critical meetings on the future of its congregations in the area. There was a major gathering of 800 church members that had to be moved from church facilities to a local High School gym because of the numbers, but no mention in any of the local media.

Approximately a year ago, the religious head of the United Church of Canada visited one of the areas oldest churches (established in 1787) for a morning and luncheon of reflection. The local press was again silent.

Just this past month, the United Church’s General Council was held in Ottawa. A number of local members attended as credited delegates; one of our local clergy was elected to a three year term on Council. The local press was again silent.

Last week, a group of Protestant churches that were founded by the same minister in 1787 held a special joint service. No local newspaper coverage.

If you get some of your news from CBC or CTV, try to remember when you heard the reporters/hosts contact a non Roman Catholic for a comment on matters of religious importance.

There is in Canada (and definitely in Ontario) a state religion. I’m in the UN camp on this one. In a country that guarantees religious freedom, the state should not (with public money) directly support one (version of one) religion.

The Plaidneck


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