Caught One, Rats! (Warning-Gross Image)

Well, they say a picture is worth a thousand words, perhaps along with shock value, this image (below) speaks volumes to my plight. If you have been following my weblog, I have been battling with these vermin for the last four or five months now. They have cost me, in the pocketbook, a sum of around $1800.00 now, by replacing the damage they have caused. Chewed wires, holes in plastic containers and isolation, these rats have been nothing but trouble to both my home and vehicle. So I took action, and I am getting results!

Let us look at the above photo for a moment. This is the first rat caught while on the motor. I check my engine almost every day now. You can see the socks places under the wires. Those socks are filled with Mothballs, and since I have been placing them in the engine compartment, I have not had one wire chewed since.

Besides the Mothballs, I have been laying poison near my vehicle too. I bought some Rat-A-Way pellets, which did wonders on the first couple of days I set the traps. The first twenty-four hours three rat bodies were found underneath my Pathfinder, and the following day, four mice and one rat. Since then, the bait had been nibbled at, but no more bodies near my vehicle. Though, near my front door steps, I caught three more rats along with six mice in the last month.

But my main concern has been my vehicle. I now have proof that the Mothball method works!

To all those deniers and self-proclaimed rat experts (you know who you are) look-at-the-image. And “no,” I did not place the rat there and staged the whole photo–that is just gross!

Politics

It is about 2:00am, and I am ready to end the day (I work afternoons by the way). I just thought I would type a few words about today, and what is going on South of the border from my perspective. I try hard not to get too involved in other countries’ political affairs, but today is different as I see the voting U.S. results have yet again shocked me. Yup, it looks like Trump is in; will the world as we know it—end?

So, Trump. Well… what will this mean? My first thought is, will the world economies collapse and take us all with it. But then this probably will not happen right-a-way. Like our Rob Ford here in Canada, Trump maybe all talk and no action on matters that will affect us around the world, and with his record of “foot-in-mouth” and flip-flopping, I can see many issues going off in weird directions, which would probably amount to the same old State that has always been. Though I kind of ponder at the idea of the U.S. building a wall around itself. I think if the “Iron Curtain” from the Russian-Soviet era when I heard Trump talk about the “Wall” between it and Mexico. Walls are the opposite of two-way streets, as they not only stop what comes in, but block what goes out too. And what will the U.S. do without all that cheep labour? I can see everything getting more expensive, especially with charging high taxes on imported goods from China.

I noticed the shock in the Stock Markets as the Eastern markets start to open. The CBC news is saying that markets are jolted with the U.S. elections results, and the reaction is very negative. We will have to see how far this goes. Hey, maybe gasoline prices will come back down! Sweet!

I just watched Trump’s victory speech. I am some what surprised. He actually sounds “presidential,” as opposed to a man flailing insults, shooting from the hip with his words. Words from his Teleprompter I bet.

Why Having No Neighbours is So Nice

Listening to my ex-neighbour who moved to another neighbourhood, telling me about his new problems, makes me appreciate the peace and quiet of my little corner of the universe. I could not live in a trailer park, or condo, or any other place that has people crammed so close together. When I thought about his tails of the weird and wacky people that have moved close to him, I realized that half of his trouble were his alone: he wants his privacy, yet craves the social interactions at the same time.

Sure, having people around is human. We humans like to live in colonies, families, and sometimes in metropolitan centres and cities. I even heard this called “human nature” while taking my undergrad classes university. Ultimately, we take on a mate, and raise children, and build our own families. In turn, we live close to populated areas for jobs, schools and stores, which give us securities.  We in our homes, towns and cities, governments to give us Rule of Law and build roads, schools and keep us safe. Some how, in this human utopia, chaos can ensue.

For my friend, in his trailer park, the mix was spoilt over time. Drug users, which are common among low income sites, were part of his problem as they moved in, but also tenants who wanted the joy and happiness that they claimed of their properties, also interfered with his peace and enjoyment. Then there were the whores and prostitutes that occupied the park as well; many are also drug users, and bring their own troubles. The neighbourhood is now labelled as a haven for lawlessness. Law enforcement even fears venturing into the area, and unless they have to, it is with body armour.

As I look across the farm fields and forests from my front door, I am happy. I live where many would not choose to. My neighbours are far enough from me that I like them. I can leave my windows open, and car unlocked and barbecue out on my patio without a chain. Good ridden to the trailer park trash; my friend, I feel for you–honest.

A Hit to the Head: Did it Make a Difference?

It was sometime around the last week of July that I reached up to pull a box down from a very tall skid of product at my work. I do this almost daily, and I have had boxes fall on me before, sometimes hitting me, or just falling to the ground, but it does happen from time to time, so I thought nothing of it at the time. That time, it was a saw blade in its packaging that fell on me. The pallet full of items was about 40 to 50cm taller that I am. When I went to pull the top box down, the saw blade at the top of the pile was out of my sight, so when it fell, it hit me right in my glasses. Thankfully my glasses broke, not my eye.

So a week went by, and I thought nothing of it.

The following week, I was telling my supervisor about how I broke my glasses, as we, four of us from the department, were comparing some of the shipments from our vendors and how bad they were. When he heard of the saw blade, he reacted a little more strongly than I would have thought he would. Actually, he said he was going to write an email to the regional bosses about this. I assumed that it would go nowhere.

Yesterday I was told that the regional head manager was going to fly over to our department and personally see me about the incident. When, I do not know, but my story made some big waves regarding safety and how the merchandise is being shipped to us. Now, there is an inquiry that has started, though I am not aware of it personally.

I hate being the centre of such attention. I wear glasses, and they did their job. Sure, I might get another set, but I really do not care. What I care about is when they make such huge pallets of freight, that people my hight have to reach up and grab down without knowing if there are other objects hidden above. Maybe this will change the way we get freight, but I doubt it. But I hate being the centre of this type of attention.

Department Move

It has been nearly five weeks now. Five weeks since the move from night-shift to days, working in a new department, a move that I very much wanted. With change comes challenges, and joining a new team comes finding that new fit comes with anticipation and complications. Working with the new team has pretty much gone as I anticipated.

I knew, going forward, that not all the team members would embrace “the new guy” amongst their space. Old habits, mixing with new blood, will be a challenge for the weeks to come. Already in the last five weeks, I have witnessed the stubbornness by staff as they try to keep their routines,and leave the undesirable work for me. Since I was hired for my skills, for one staff member, I have become a threat in the sense that I exceed the skill level of some tasks, and easily jumped onboard in the workflow, keeping up. Though I laughed as two members peppered me with questions about myself, probing, then relaying factitious/distorted versions of my words to the Manager—who is a good friend of mind. We had a good laugh. And yes, I have names, I know who you are. Nothing like jealous people burning their bridges so quickly.

My new department will have lots of changes in the coming months. I was given an outline of what to expect in the days and weeks ahead. Most of this information I have kept to myself, as requested, so who knows what, or where I will be once the changes take place. I am not worried, as new opportunities are always be around. But for the senior staff, they feel they have been “betrayed,” or “disposed of,” by the corporation, as they have some of the information that I have, and see my move into the department as part of those feelings. I say, “get over it,” because it is going to happen whether I am here, or not.

I have no troubles with embracing new responsibility and change in this case. However, for some of the senior staff, these new responsibilities mean a new level surveillance by management, and they are resisting this, even telling me that I must take this stance along with them. There is a world beyond the walls of the department, and if my fellow co-workers cannot see this, then they miss out on the big picture—at their cost. Remember it is easier for me to embrace change, then for those who have old habits of their daily routines.

Thankfully the good out weighs the bad by a long shot. I am very happy, almost grateful under what is happening in the global market place economy. The pay may not be that great, but I would rather be doing this, than being homeless with no income.

Census Canada: Made Contact-Done!

Since my last attempt with Census Canada, regarding about getting my census form sent to me and then completed, I finally got through to someone today who could help – and help she did. She explained that a census notice was sent to my address, and that none of the codes have been activated, or the forms been completed between me and my neighbours. My landlord has about a couple of us living here, and sometimes it gets confusing for those who collect the mail to separate, or figure out who gets what. So the kind person at Census Canada gave one of the activation codes from those letters mailed out to us, to me, and now I can complete my census. Yes, I even volunteered for the long form out of the three letters mailed. I am so nice.

One interesting fact that was told to me over the phone by the agent at Census Canada: May 10th is an arbitrary date to have the Census Forms completed. I guess as long as the Census is done within a reasonable amount of time, all is good. That date was given just to have a benchmark for the general population to be motivated and have it done, not a due date that means bad things will happen to you if you fail to complete it by then.

So, why, do you ask, am I so gun-ho about doing this national population survey? Well, as I told the Census Canada Agent, part of my BA was fours years of Statistics, and I love the whole subject of statistics. I understand full well the importance of a nation doing its census so that it can plan for the future and invest in it. With each datum collected, we build a better understanding of who we are as a nation and where we need to focus resources and services. As a statistician, working with fresh, up-to-date data is thrilling–I would be a kid in a candy store. You cannot get any more Geeky than that!

So, once I have eaten, and freshened up, I will dive into the Census Long Form.

🙂

Oh Mike – The Senate, The Cons, The Court of public Opinion

I cannot hold my tongue no longer. After hearing the results of the Mike Duffy trial, that threw out all thirty-one charges put against him by the Crown, the RCMP and the Steven Harper PC Government of the day, I laughed out loud. “We are all fools” I told myself, after the day long event, covered in segments on CBC News as they peppered us with details of the deliberations (one by one) by the Judge somewhere in Ontario. With the full exoneration of Mike Duffy, the fools from all of this are the people of Canada. Sure, the Happer-Cons were the cause of all of this, as I see it clearly now from the Media. The questions I ask myself: do I still like the Senate afterwards from all of this? Ahhh, all of this has cemented even harder my lack of heart felt “value” of why do we still have this unelected level of government.

(Okay, I had a very long rant going on here. I stopped, and thought about it, then decided to delete it. I felt I was going way over the top with most of my comments. Some of my critiques were, well, abrasive and heart-felt, and borderline on self incriminating myself in public–I stopped typing.)

I guess I see all of this as a media event, like a three ring circus show. I am not a fan of the Senate. When I first learned of how our government worked, I was always asking question as to why this level of Federal Government was appointed, and always stacked in favour of the ruling Party, making it a puppet show of the House of Commons. No one ever told me that this was a one hundred percent good thing. Why not have elections for our Senators, I would ask? Why not make public their expense accounts, and hold them to budgets? Why not have rules and laws that would throw out the bad apples when those rules and laws are broken? And hey, lets have Green Party and NDP Senators too?

Sure, keep the Senate; I do agree with the concept of “A Second Sober Thought,” with our law makers. But lets prevent this three ring circus from going on any further–let us make true and lasting change.

LINKS

Mike Duffy ruling could put brakes on expense cases against other senators” CBCNews, April 22, 2016

Judge clears Mike Duffy of all charges and slams Prime Minister’s Office under Harper” CBCNews, April 22, 2016

Read Justice Charles Vaillancourt’s ruling” April 21-22, 2016 c/o CBCNews.

My Take on the Panama Papers

I almost fell off of my chair when I read the news article called the Panama Papers from CBCnews on their website. First, when they said that there are legitimate reasons for having an off shore account like and second, just how prolific these off accounts are among the rich and famous. But that is not all. When I read that part in the news article that our very own Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will not invest time and efforts to look into the Canadians on the list (who could be possible tax cheats) on the Panama Papers, this made me angry.

So, I am a big multi billion dollar corporation, and I ask my lawyers, “hey, how do we cut the amount of taxes we are paying in this county,” they would say, open an off shore account and there you can hid your money from the tax man. How could this be legal? I certainly see the benefit from the corporation’s point of view, and I just cannot wrap my head around how our government can legitimize this whole secrecy part about hiding money like this. Sure, there must be some legal reasons for doing this, (although I cannot see them at the moment) but in this day and age, when the number of people who have billions in their bank account is growing, and the number of countries and people who are corrupt grow, I can only see dodging and secrecy as the heaven against high tax jurisdictions and law enforcement agencies. So it would make sense to me that anyone who has lots of money (or property) would want to “hide” it, especially from government’s tax and legal departments.

I am just dumbfounded that in my own country (Canada) having an offshore account is perfectly acceptable; however, I did read my my tax return, and it asks if you have property and money outside of Canada, so I guess if you are honest, you would tell them. But, the CRA seems to not have any troubles if you decide to open an offshore account, and you kept that to yourself, they appear to have no interest in looking for it. So, if you are lucky enough to not have your offshore company’s records leaked to the world, then your money, assets and property (including valuable art) are perfectly safe in (from) Canada.

I say, Canada at least, should treat this like the “War on Drugs.” Liken it to drugs, say Cocaine for example. Cocaine is a highly additive drug, and it so happens that it is illegal to have possession of it, and to us it, other than for medial reasons by a real doctor. So, lets treat offshore banking the same way. Since greed for money seems to be associated with illegal activities, and common links can be drawn between the drug user and offshore accounts, why not set up laws and policing agencies to combat this scourge. If it is discovered that a person, or legal fiction, has an offshore account, then an automatic investigation should start. Heck, why not make it so that all money transactions have to go through policing body for some sort–say the CRA. in other words, if a Bank, like the RBC tells one of its customers that they should open an offshore account, then the first thing that must take place is a request by the CRA to grant the RBC to open this offshore account, while in that process, a copy of money and items must be registered.

Yes, I think this would fly like a lead balloon. Even in Canada, this would go too far. Yes, I would admit, if I could hid my money, I probably would. The best I could do is bury my cash, (LOL) if I had any to spare.

As Frogs Call – Is It That Time of Year All Ready?

My first full weekend in nearly four weeks, my, what to do with it? Well, lets write a blog post! So, what to write about…, lets see, there is the weather, that is messed up right now. Then there is the U.S. Election, as each major party chose their candidates to run in the Federal Election next year. I have lots to say about that. Then there is the price of everything. My poor pay cheque seems like it is worth nothing as I prices for everything climb out of control beyond my reach. I have lots to say about that too. Okay, lets get typing!

Thomasso Logo March 2016 Weblog Image

This is where I show my typical Canadainism–a rant about the weather. Spring has sprung, or has it? I am not sure, but Saturday was almost a day that would call something close to a late spring day. Yes, it was that warm out. Some of the flowers are popping up too that normally do not sprout for another few weeks, like the Daffodils, and of course the crocuses. Some of the Cherry trees are showing their blossoms, and even the Magnolia trees are sprouting them too. Along with the warmth brings the mosquitoes and other flying pests. You take the good with the bad, and so it is, my first mosquito bite–on March 5th–what’s up with that? I think this year will be an extra early spring. Heck, the frogs are going nuts, the croaking at night is loud, and all of this around the first week of March. I first noticed the frogs a couple of weeks ago, but last night must have been party night for them. Could we see a frog population explosion this summer? LOL!

Normally I do not write about U.S. politics, but today I will make an exception. Let me say a few things about the Trump Machine that seems unstoppable down South. We here in Canada had our own version of the freakishly out-of-bounds and embarrassing public figure, the Mayor of Toronto, back in 2013, that pushed the limits of how low you could go, and it seems you too in United States have your own case now. All I can say is “hang in there,” as I am sure that your Federal Election will set things straight, and Trump will be just a post scrip in the annals of time. I know the fear that there is a possibility of Trump becoming the Commander and Chief of the Super Power of the world, and yeah, it scares the crap out of me too just thinking about it, but I have faith in the American People to vote for the best person for the job, and I hope they, quite honestly, Dump the Trump.

The rising prices of stuff. I see it is not just me who sees the price crunch ramping up on nearly every purchase I make. I feel a little bit better when I read in the local media that the gouging and price increases are biting nearly everyone around–it is not just my in head–or something I am imagining. One price I keep my eye on is the price of gasoline. Where I live, the taxes are super high for gas, as compared to just a few kilometres away in the next township, and across the U.S. border. I save twelve to fourteen cents per litre just making that extra fifteen minute drive to any one of those locations.  Today, I notice that gas was selling for $1.10 per litre, while just in Abbottsford it is only $0.98. It does add up over time in the savings, making that extra trip across the line to fill up. Also on the rise are most foods I eat. I think the most expensive item that I use to buy is beef. The price of beef has climbed so high that I just stopped buying it. Instead, I found deals on fish and pork, and of course, a lot more poultry goes into my grocery basket. Next in the food department are veggies. I think I will be starting a little veggie garden this year. Over all, I noticed the food bill climbing, and that worries me. It is time to switch to more economical food types, and buy more local items until the Canadian Dollar bounces back up. I always wanted to get serious about food gardening–now is the time.

Phew. I am tired now. Okay, time to press “publish” and sign off for another day.

 

Reviewing the Week (Warning, A Boring Post)

To sum up the week that has passed in one word, I would use: Sore. Yes, sore fits nicely. Sore works becuase that was how I felt most of the time when I got home from work. One I showered up, I would head for my bed, and fall into a nap. I think the only day out of the week where I did not fallow this routine was back on Tuesday, and that was only becuase I too tired to make it to my bed, so I flopped on my sofa chair, and napped there for a few hours. I guess there are several reasons why I would say “sore” for describing last week, but none more so that work.

Learning a new job is probably one of the most stressful events in most people’s lives. For myself, I am filling in for six or seven weeks in a new department, and in that new role, I found myself having to learn a whole new set of routines, plus keeping up with the demands of that job, all the while working with other’s who are also going through massive changes in their careers. The toll, both mentally and physically, has been great on my mind and body. I am learning a system that has been laid down for nearly a decade, so the work-flow is set in stone. Any deviance from that results in fairly nasty comments from the other staff. Do I blame them? Of course not. But I must say, there are better ways of teaching a job to a newbie. The other side, this decade old work-flow changes starting tomorrow. Now pile on the stress for the veterans of this department.

Change in the work place is like the Ebola Virus in Africa; Some will die, others mortally wounded, and some few will survive it. The question that everyone asks is: Which category do I fall under? Thus, cue in the stress, and the unfriendly environment as we wait to see who gets the axe, and who becomes down-graded. For myself, once inventory season is done with, I go back to my old department, which is relatively safe becuase that is where the labourers are, and Wet Backs seem to be immune to today’s corporate cutbacks (as long as they are happy with low wages). But change is evident, and change means someone will go, and others will have to be replanted into another position, usually meaning something more downgraded.

So, my body hurts becuase of the using new muscles, and working at a different pace. My brain hurts becuase of all the new tasks and learning that I have been given to do. On top  of that, I have had the flu since the holidays, although not as bad as it was then, the soreness in my muscles from it still lingers. The only known remedy for keeping myself in good enough shape for work is to sleep for ten hour nights, trying to heal myself, and damage myself all over again until I sleep for another ten hours. Hopefully, soon, I will fall out of this cycle, and can breath and be happy once again. But for now, I trudge along.