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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)?
A slide show of Alex's 2009. Over 100 photos presented in an "ArtiZine" format (unique design and layout, driven by the article content). Not your normal blog post. Come check out the design and Alex's year.
Slide Show: 100+ Pics of "the Oop!"
Christmas came upon us very fast this year. Because both sets of Alex's grandparents own a digital photo frame, we gave them each a 2GB SD card, containing over 300 family photos (mostly of their granddaughter). One month later, I've uploaded some of the best shots to Randsco, to share with everyone else!
Alex is a very outgoing and engaging girl of six, though in most of these photos, she's five. Alexandra is her full name, but we just call her "Alex" or "the Oop" (a nickname that she's had for a while and one that stuck). She had a very busy year at kindergarten, visiting grandparents, exploring, making friends and just being a kid. We invite you to share her year in pictures.
We hope you enjoy the show, which is presented in an ArtiZine What the Heck is an ArtiZine? An artizine is a blog article that has a completely unique design & page layout, driven by the contents of the article. It is reminiscent of print magazine articles, where each article has a somewhat different design, typography and/or artwork. In fact, the word "artizine" is a combination of the word "article" and "magazine". An artizine is different from a blogazine. In a blogazine, every article contains magazine-like styling. Because such styling takes work, blogazines are infrequently updated and require the blog author(s) to maintain a separate site for their "normal" musings. In contrast, an artizine is simply a special, magazine-like article, contained within a regular blog. format and it's the second such article we've published. As such, it may be a bit disorienting to some folks. Just wait for the page to load and then hover over the moving theater screen static. Click to start the slide show. Then click the thumbnail images to move forward, or backward, through the slide show! (Simple really)
Now, let's get on to Alex's specially designed slide show!
A classic Norman Rockwell moment, as Alex takes her ceramic piggy bank down to our local credit union "Island Savings" and opens her very first bank account. At age six, our girl is learning how to save her money! She deposited $54.40 in coins.
Alex's Opens Her First Bank Account - Chooses Island Savings Credit Union
It was classic Norman Rockwell. A six-year-old girl holding a ceramic piggy bank, sitting in the lobby of a bank, waiting to open her very first bank account. The girl was none other than our Alex and the bank was the small branch of a local credit union.
Earlier that morning, Alex asked, "Can I get a bank account?" (Since Dad is keen on personal finance - having retired at age 39 and opened his first business when he was 12 - his ears perked up).
Several questions later, it became clear to him that Alex understood the concept of banks (even though she couldn't name all the denominations of coins in her piggy bank).
Alex has a very special piggy bank, one given to her by her God-mother - a beautifully decorated and glazed ceramic pig, complete with Alex's tiny hand-print on it (Alex was two-years-old at the time "Wilber" was made).
That afternoon, Dad drove his 6-year-old daughter to the credit union in Cedar. It was a long visit. She signed multiple forms and it took time to count out her "life-savings".
It was a very big day for Alex and a proud one for her Dad (who was busy taking pictures of the event). The visit brought smiles to the banking staff, whe were very patient with Alex and treated her like a 'big girl' customer. Not every new account holder meets one of the Credit Union Board of Directors, but Alex did! She also learned the difference between tokens, coins and foreign money (as she had a few Pence and U.S. coins).
To learn more about Alex's first account, read on ...
Kindergarten is finished today. Alex is pretty certain she'll have a great summer, filled with lots of social activities. We're pretty certain Alex is going to miss school. (Class photo included).
"The Oop" Graduates Kindergarten Per Ultum Tripudium
There were no caps; no gowns. There wasn't any of the pomp and circumstance that graduates across the U.S. and Canada are experiencing this month. Alex just went to school at 11:35 AM and was released at 2:15 PM, just like any other day. The only difference, of course, is that it wasn't just like any other day, because it was the last day of kindergarten.
I asked her, this morning, if she was going to miss school (as I'm pretty sure she will, since she's such a social creature). It surprised me when she said, "No."
Exploring a little further, I asked, "Why not?"
"Well Dad," she said, putting her hands on her little hips, as she does when she's explaining how things are, "because during the summer, I don't have to go to school, see? And every day I'll have play dates!"
(I told you she was a social creature).
Unfortunately, as the Dad and one of two qualified chauffeurs in the house, I was pretty certain that her hastily thought-out plan of multiple 'play dates' per day weren't going to be the norm. I tried to explain that school was the ultimate play date and especially because (now) she's in day-care on many days, in addition to school, so she actually has more actual playing opportunities when school is in session, than during the summer months. (In our rural neighborhood, Alex has only a few kids to play with, within walking distance and none are her age - there are two that are 1-2 years younger than Alex and three that are 4 or more years older).
Of course, my argument fell on deaf ears and Alex remains excited by the prospect of upcoming 'social' summer!
To see Alex's kindergarten class photo ... head to the next page
A slide show consisting of 75 photos taken by our 5-year-old daughter, Alex, over the course of a year and a half, using her "Little Tikes" 640x480 digital camera. Our world from a three-foot-something, kid's perspective.
Photography from a Child's Perspective
Shortly after our daughter, Alex (AKA "the Oop"), turned four, we gave her a digital camera for Christmas. She's now five and a half years old and has used the camera for a year and a half, taking roughly 750 pictures all-told.
It's interesting to see what catches her eye, even though many of the pictures didn't turn out well. While we really like the rugged quality, ease of use and child-oriented design of her "Little Tikes" digital camera "My Real Digital Camera" by Little Tikes We bought this durable camera in Canada for approximately $30 CAD. It's worked well for Alex for a year and a half. Pros: The camera is well designed for little fingers, it's rugged and will take abuse, it has both a 1.3" LCD screen and a view-finder for framing shots, it's easy to use, has auto flash and stores about a 1000 pictures (64 MegaBytes). Cons: Picture quality could be better (it takes 640px by 480px shots with some spherical aberration and blurring). There is an appreciable shutter delay, which children must understand, before they can begin to take non-blurry shots. (One needs to hold the camera steady for about a second, after pressing the shutter button). It uses 4 "AAA" batteries & also comes in pastel colors. Thinking of getting one? Click inside this box or the link for more information & reviews on the Little Tikes website. , it has one major flaw - there is a one second delay between pressing the shutter button and when the image is captured. It took Alex a while to work out that she needs to hold the camera steady during and after she presses the button.
We figured that it was high time to show off our daughter's photography "skills" and share her visions through the lens. Life looks a lot different when you're only three feet tall and the things that she's pointed her camera at ... well, you can only conclude that they're important to her!