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Did you know Canada Post is on strike? The Canadian postal system shut down over a week ago. The United States is no longer accepting mail addressed to Canada. Who cares? In the age of text messages, email & a myriad of private parcel delivery companies to choose from - is Canada Post even relevant?
Canada Post is on Strike? Who Cares?
My seven (and a half) year-old daughter recently participated in day-long "Hands-Across the Border" event, where girl scouts (Brownies) from Canada and the United States traded goodies and celebrated at the near-by Peace Arch border crossing. Alex had obtained some nice "City of Nanaimo" and "Canada Flag" trader-pins from our MLA, Leonard Krog, when Rachel visited his office a couple of weeks ago.
"What's this got to do with the Canada Postal Union strike?" you might ask.
Well, Alex wrote a very nice, colorful, personal letter of "thanks" to MLA Leonard Krog and we took it down to the post box this morning to mail it. We couldn't put it into the outgoing mail slot, as it had been covered over with the Canada Post "closed" sign shown above.
"Oh, right," I told Alex, "Canada Post is on strike, so there's no mail delivery."
Sadly, MLA Leonard Krog will have an easier time finding his mail here, than he will finding it in his mailbox (an e-mail from his website will let him know that he can read his "Canada Post mail" here!)
This incident made me curious about the Canada Post strike. I know the Postal Union members have been on strike for a while and that mail delivery stopped over a week ago. But ... why are they on strike? If the strike doesn't affect me much, how many others don't care? How relevant is Canada Post in today's world of electronic mail, Skype, cell phone text-messaging, FaceBook, Twitter and private parcel services (e.g., UPS, Fed-Ex & DHL)?
Five years ago, we wrote about the nursing crisis that British Columbia anticipated. How did British Columbia respond? How is socialized Health Care working out for residents of British Columbia now? Find out in our "BC Nursing Crisis" update ...
BC Government Cuts Health Care Despite Shortages & Overcrowding
Back in 2005, when Rachel had just over a year to complete her BSN degree, we wrote about the BC nursing crisis facing the Canadian Province of British Columbia. This bode well for job placement and when Rachel graduated from the UofA in 2006, many of the BC Health Authorities were hiring nursing graduates. (She accepted an offer from VIHA and has been gainfully employed there since).
Fast-forward to 2011 and the latest issue of "BCNU Update" (a BC Nurses' Union publication) describes a very different experience for those now graduating with a BSN degree. Despite an acknowledged and continued shortage of nurses, BC Health Authorities are facing government cut-backs and many recent nursing graduates are finding it difficult to find full-time nursing jobs. In an effort to make ends meet, many newly educated nurses are having to accept work outside of health care - namely in the service-sector - serving coffee Tim Horton's doughnut shops or selling paperback books at Chapters. Sadly, it's their only employment option.
On October 26, 2009, Yahoo pulled the plug on millions of websites hosted on GeoCities web servers. It marks the end of an early Internet Era and one that affects no less than five of our early adventure journals. Restoration efforts are taking place. Learn more (including why the Internet is a house of cards)
26-Oct Yahoo-GeoCities Shut Down
Randsco Adventures Rescued from Ashes
On October 26, 2009, Yahoo-GeoCities shut-down their servers and immediately obliterated 15 years-worth of personal websites, made by millions of people across the world.
We rescued our early adventure journals off of GeoCities, reposting them on the Randsco domain, including: Scott's Big Ride, Rachel's 1999 Big Ride, our Oregon Cycle Tour and Wonderland Trail backpacking trip.
Begun in 1994, GeoCities spawned "neighborhoods" and by 1997, there were over a million "homesteaders" that had created personal websites. In 1999, Yahoo! bought GeoCities for $2.87 billion dollars.
GeoCities floundered under Yahoo's leadership. Terms of service changes, monthly data transfer limits, eliminating FTP access and changing advertising strategies drove users away. (We moved our home page off of GeoCities in 2003, because advertising changes interfered with visitor experience - and shared server costs were becoming affordable).
To learn more about the GeoCities shut-down, what's being done to preserve this bit of Internet history and the pitfalls of 3rd-party servers ... carry on.
There are 110 days till the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, but the Olympic torch is on it's way to our little town of Cedar, British Columbia. Learn about the 2010 Olympic torch, the Canadian national torch run and more. If you can, come down and help celebrate the event with live entertainment, free hot-dogs and Halloween treats. (Olympic torch run map included)
Olympic Torch Arrives in Cedar on Oct 31st
There's 110 days to go before the start of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, but the Olympic torch was lit, in Greece, on Thursday.
The torch run has begun. It's currently on a 7-day circuit through Greece. After that, it will be handed off to Vancouver 2010 officials and flown to Canada, where it will begin a 45,000-kilometer, 106-day trek across Canada.
The Olympic flame will be passing through our little hamlet of Cedar, British Columbia on Day 2 of its 106-day journey ... coming through town on Halloween (Oct 31st).
For more on the torch, maps & the Cedar celebration ... read on ...
Rachel recently won $5 in a Subway Scrabble promotional contest. Like all Canadians, she had to correctly answer a mathematical skill question in order to receive her prize. Find out why a "skill test" is a uniquely Canadian thing.
Returning from the floating cabin last month, we stopped at a Subway sandwich shop in Port Alberni for lunch. (Alex cried, because she wanted a McDonald's "Happy Meal" - it's all about the toy). Parental units decided fresh ingredients were more important than supporting China's export trade. As a result, we all had a healthier lunch.
Rachel also won a "$5-off Subway Card", after tearing off a "Subway scrabble" game-piece from her drink cup. Yesterday I redeemed the instant prize online (contest ends today, July 13th). I entered the alpha-numeric code printed on the game piece. On the next screen, I was required to pass the uniquely-Canadian ritual of answering a "skill test" question, in order to claim the $5 Subway Card prize. As per usual, it was a math question: What is 6 x 14 ÷ 6 + 48 - 14?
I've lived in a lot of places, but only Canada has a "math test", when you win a prize! When I first arrived, I thought, "Wow, Canada really places an emphasis on basic math skills!" It wasn't till later that I realized that the purpose of the "skill test" is to circumvent Canadian anti-gambling laws.
To learn more about the odd Canadian contest "skill test" requirement, you must first derive the Wave Equation, from Snell's Law of Refraction ... (ack ... I mean, click the following link) ...