Friday, December 10, 2010

Barons Embarrass Moose 4-0

The Manitoba Moose were put shorthanded for the first time in the game when Tommy Maxwell was called for hooking at 13:30.  The Barons first power play was ineffective, registering only one shot on net.
After Maxwell’s penalty was killed, the moose went on their first powerplay when Jordan Bendfield was sent to the box for interference at 8:54.  This was extended to a five on three four seconds later, when Barons defenceman Taylor Chorney was caught for slashing.  The Moose registered seven shots with the man advantage, but unfortunately, Barons goaltender Martin Gerber was able to stop each one.
Barons forward Ben Ondrus dropped the gloves with Moose defenceman Ryan Parent with five minutes left in the first period.  The fight was short lived and there wasn’t a clear winner, both men still stood on their feet as the refs broke them up and sent them to the box. 
The Moose dominated the Barons in shots on net and scoring chances, but had nothing to show for it, the score was tied 0-0 at the end of the first period.
Moose left winger Shawn Weller was sent to the penalty box for tripping 5:10 into the second period.  The Moose continued to dominate on the penalty kill, on the Barons second powerplay they didn’t register a shot on net.
The first goal of the game was scored by Barons left winger Matt Marquardt 8:06 into the second period.  He rifled the puck from the point and beat Moose goalie Eddie Lack who was screened by traffic, to put the Barons in the lead 1-0.
It was all downhill from there for the Moose.  At 17:38 into the second period the Barons scored their second goal of the game when center Ryan O’Marra beat Eddie Lack’s outstretched legs, adding Oklahoma City’s lead to 2-0.
After a promising first frame and an unimpressive second, the Moose were unable to claw their way back in third, but were given enough opportunities to do so.  They had a man advantage at 2:18 when Barons defenceman Shawn Belle was sent to the sin bin for holding.  Barons center Milan Kytnar was sent to the box for interference at 5:52, shortly followed by teammate Linus Omark at 6:31 for unsportsmanlike conduct.  The Moose were on a five on three powerplay for 1:24 and managed a flurry of shots at the net, but poor blue line puck handling saw them loose possession of the zone twice, forcing the Moose to regroup and sent the frustrated crowd of 8, 506 into a series of mild boo’s.
Moose fans began to book it out of the MTS Centre to beat the traffic after the third goal by Barons forward Omark, 13:58 into the third period.  The game was essentially over at 16:51 into the third frame, when on the Barons man advantage Alexandre Giroux put the puck past Manitoba goaltender Lack.
Moose Head Coach Claude Noel took some punches for his team’s lack of production on the powerplay “Certainly, I have to take some responsibility for the execution.  If it isn’t working, obviously, accountability starts with me.”
Normally 18 scoring chances and 37 shots on net are enough to score at least once, but Barons goaltender Martin Gerber stopped all of them and earned the first star of the game.
Moose leading goal scorer Cody Hodgson, had six shots on net tonight, “We had lots of shots and he (Gerber) was great, but we were getting quality opportunities that we really needed to burry.”
This is the fourth time this year the Moose have been unable to score a goal.  They’re now fourth place in the North Division standings at 12-8-0-3, even with the Abbottsford Heat at 27 points, two back of the third place Lake Erie monsters.

There is a Dead Horse on Orchard Prairie Road

There Is
     Dead Horse
Orchard Prairie Road

The horse smelled putrid, its lifeless corpse had given way to maggots and disease, on Orchard Prairie Road.  They both knew the task at hand.  It wasn’t going to be easy but they had to do it. “C’mon Hannah, we got ta’ move him.”
“It looks like he’s been like this for a while, I can’t stand the smell anywhere near it.”
“Just suck it up, geesh.”
Hannah stepped back a few steps, as if she was blown back by his words.  Maybe it was the rotten flesh of the horse that urged her to step back.  It was then that Charlie noticed her nose curl, and scrunch up so much it nearly resembled a schoolyard ball.  “Can’t we get someone else to do this; I really don’t think I can handle this.”
Charlie was at least five feet from her, but he could still hear her stomach tremble like a tremor.  He moved slightly closer to her, to try and comfort her by his presence; the aroma from the carcass growing in stench as time passed.  “There is nobody else, we’re the only ones here and we’ve got ta’ do this.  Listen, we have to decide what we’re going to do, ‘cause standing here watching it rot is not working.”
A faint smirk appeared on Hannah’s face, as if she noticed the hint of humor in his voice, but her smirk quickly disappeared.  “Let’s forklift it out ta’ here.”  She struggled to find her words.  Her sentences had become short and choppy.  Charlie realized this might be harder than he first thought.
“I don’t know anyone with a forklift, do you?” He said.
“Then let’s drag this thing out ta’ here.”
“There is no way that I’m touching it.  Not a chance.” snapped Hannah.
Charlie knew this would happen.  She didn’t have a strong stomach and he knew that, but she was his only hope of help at this point.  “Listen,” began Charlie, “I can’t stay here much longer, my band is playing a show tonight, and I got ta’ go soon.”
He brought out a box of plastic gloves.  “Here.”  Hannah gave him an evil eye.  The kind Charlie’s momma used to give him when he snuck into the cookie jar.  Resentfully, she took the pair of gloves and put them on.  “Alright, If I have to…”
 The displeasure in her voice was apparent, but those four words were enough to make him crack a bit of a smile.  With that, they both grabbed a hind leg of the fallen beast, and began to drag it down Orchard Prairie Road.

The Night

The night is dark, the night is cold
The night is your friend when you’re alone
Right now I’m alone, the night is my guide
It walks beside me, never leaving my side
It won’t give me bullshit, won’t put me down
Won’t tear me open, throw my heart to the ground

It walks the lonely road, gives advice to travelers by
‘Cause everyone walks that path one time in their life
When you’re all alone and there’s no one to hold
The night wraps around you, gives you warmth through the cold
I’m walking down that road, trying to forget the scars
Running away from bad memories, but they’re never too far

The night makes me feel better
Cause it’s the only one that’s lonelier me
It’s never had a real friend, similar to me
It’s never had to remember the good times with the bad
It helps me appreciate the few good times I’ve had

The Night.

Stressin' Out

The issue over extreme test anxiety has attracted a lot of media coverage since the situation at the U of M, regarding a doctoral math student and Prof. Gábor Lukács.
Dr. Jay Doering, Dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies and Dr. Mark Whitmore, Dean, Faculty of Science released a statement on the U of M website to help clarify the issue.  “In this case, the disability was real, and the implication made by certain individuals that the student is not being genuine is both irresponsible and uninformed.”

Under the Manitoba Human Rights code, it is a proven, professionally-diagnosed disability that the U of M, as well as RRC is obligated to accommodate.

Laureen Janzen is the Coordinator of Counseling and Disability Services for RRC and thinks that extreme exam anxiety is misunderstood because people aren’t informed as to what it really is. “People do get nervous when evaluated, that’s a normal thing.”
But there is a difference between normal anxiety and a disabling case, which can result in physical symptoms. “It’s not about being unprepared, it’s about being so anxious that you blank out.  Maybe you’re running to the bathroom all the time or have a migraine or are sweating profusely.  You can’t focus and make very irresponsible mistakes.”
The type of accommodation a student would receive based on test anxiety at RRC would include additional time of a half hour per hour, with a maximum of 1 hour additional time, and a writing environment that would include a small group of other students.
Not just anybody who gets nervous before an exam can receive accommodations. It varies with every person, and is individually evaluated by a RRC councilor who is trained to determine if a student meets the criteria for disabling exam anxiety. 
The maximum amount of time allowed for these accommodations is four months, in which the student has responsibilities, such as meeting with a councilor on a regular basis.  During this time the student is given techniques to reduce their anxiety, and depending on the case can be recommended to meet with a psychologist, with the expectation that the student should be able to re join their class and write in a larger test environment within the four month period.
Last year, the U of M's disability services office registered 136 students diagnosed with extreme exam anxiety.  At RRC there are currently 39 students that receive exam accommodations based on test anxiety, 17 percent out of a total 221 students who receive accommodations.

Paint That Wall

After a year of painting interior and exterior surfaces for a professional painting company, I like to think I know a thing or two about how to paint. It may seem simple, but there's so much more to painting that I see novice painters do wrong due to lack of knowledge, so I feel the need to explain how to paint properly.
                First, we have to establish what we're painting. For the purposes of this tutorial let's assume we are painting a regular four wall room with one door. The drywall has been primed and is ready to be painted. Lay down a tarp right next to the wall to protect the floor from any splatter. Wear clothes you don't mind getting paint on, because you will get paint on yourself, and carry a rag with you to keep your hands and brush clean.
Open your can of paint and pour it into a cutting can, which is a cleaned out empty paint can. Painters use old paint cans to carry smaller amounts of paint instead of carrying a full can in their hand. If you don't know, 'cutting' is a term painters use to describe the action of painting the outline of the room like corners and the trim of doors.
                When you're painting it is vital that you have music. Bring your iPod or mp3 player and relax, try to have fun with it, and play your favorite songs. Now that your head is nodding to some tunes, it’s time to start cutting. It's important to have a still hand because cutting is an art of precision. Beginners may find it difficult to cut a straight line, so if you feel like you're going to get paint where you don't want paint, it's a good idea to tape the trim of what you don't want to be painted with either masking tape or painter’s tape. Hold the brush by its head and not the handle; this will give you more control than it would by holding it by the handle. Soak your brush in paint and slap it on the wall. Push the bristles until they spread next to the edge you're cutting, using the pressure as you cut along the wall to work your way closer to the edge that you’re cutting. When there's less paint in the brush, stroke it back and smooth out the area you just painted until the brush strokes aren't that noticeable.
                Once you're done cutting the room, it’s time to roll it. Grab your tray liner and slide it into the tray. Use a paint can opener to open your can of paint and pour it into the tray. Be careful not to spill the paint! There are plastic pouring funnels you can clip onto the lid of the can to make it easier, but either with or without it you should have a brush in hand to capture any drips.
                Attach the roller to a pole. I can't tell you how many times I've seen someone waste time by rolling a wall holding the cage in hand; it’s much more efficient to use the pole to roll up and down the wall. Now dab the roller into the tray and start rolling the wall. Start from the top, work your way down, and then back up until the roller runs close to out of paint. When it does, back roll over what you just painted, and then back. Make sure what you rolled is smooth and there are no runs or flakes of dried paint. If there are runs in the paint, it's not hard feather them out with a dry roller. If there are any flakes of dried paint, just pick it off with your finger, and feather the area with your dry roller same as you would for a run.
                Once your done it's time to clean up your work area. This is what master painters are always aware of while painting. Being neat is essential to saving time by not having to clean a mess up when you're done and just want it to be over already. To wrap up the tarp first grab it by its four corners, forcing all the paint and dirt to the center of it, and keeping the floor clean.  Now that your area is clean, it’s time to clean your equipment.  Run your brush and sleeve under water.  Work with the bristles of the brush and get as much paint out as you can, you can even squish the brush against the sink itself to speed up this process.  Take your sleeve off the cage and run it under water as well.  A tool that is handy to have is painter’s tool shaped perfectly to clean rollers, found in five or six in one tools.
After a year of painting professionally, I shake my head when I see people not do it properly.  It sticks out to me like white on rice when it’s not done right and I hope that you learned how to paint a wall properly.

Reality is White Noise, Symphony is a Dream

Music is powerful, it’s universal and transcends all cultural differences; it’s one of the things we all have in common.  Not everyone likes the same music but there is music for every emotion. When I’m happy or want to feel happy, I listen to music that sounds cheerful and happy to me. When I’m sad I tend to like music that has a sad tone with lyrics that are relatable to how I feel. 
As a child growing up in rural Manitoba, my source of music was very isolated; I listened to what my parents listened too.  I loved The Beatles, I used to sing along to their songs while I made my bed in the morning, and again when I went to sleep.  I had their greatest hits tape in my walkman player (remember those?) for the longest time.  My dad was a drummer for a few band’s in the past, and toured Canada with them, never making any real money but just doing what he loved to do.  As a child I used to dream of being in a band, even took the time to draw us on stage during a big show.  When I was eight years old my dad bought me my first drum set, and I was so excited.  I played it all the time and he showed me how to do a few rolls, and keep rhythm with the beat. 
Through elementary school we learned how to play the recorder for music class.  In grades seven and eight however, this changed to a much more exciting instrument.  The school had purchased enough classical guitars for an entire class, as well as a few new electric guitars and bass’s.  It captivated me; the guitar, that is.  I even started taking lessons outside of class with a personal guitar teacher.  His name was Dennis, and he was a cheerfully old, bald, man who really knew how to play the guitar.  I continued taking lessons through the beginning of high school, where I would finally live out my dream as a child; to play in a rock and roll band. 
Chance played guitar, and James played the drums.  They were both inspired to start a band after they went to a Good Charlotte concert in Winnipeg, they went out and bought their first ever instruments.  Chance and I were on the same bus that went to school, so we talked and hung out a few times, and he knew that I played guitar and was taking lessons.  He asked me to come to a practice to jam and I couldn’t refuse.  It was in Chance’s basement which was crowded with all of the equipment in the room and was the first band practice I had ever been to.  The jam went great and I added some new parts to some songs they wrote and they loved them.  After that I was practically a part of the band.  We thought we sounded good already, but our sound was missing two things: vocals, and bass.  We asked friends and people around school if they’d want to sing but nobody jumped up to the plate.  One of us had to try singing and learn as we went along, it just so happened to be me. 
One of our first shows was at an old church transformed into a youth center called The Basement beside our high school.  The show went alright; I thought the crowd liked us, but they seemed somewhat unimpressed in comparison to some of the better acts.  It might have helped our sound if we had found a bass player by that point.  Something good came out of playing that show though; we finally found a bass player.  His name was Deagan, a quirky fellow, but talented on the bass.  Our band was finally complete and we spent weeks practicing so we’d be better next time. 
One of the things we wanted to improve was our name, Fatal Intent.  It sounded kind of tough so we liked it and was better than our last name ToneDeff (people thought we were actually tone deaf), but we wanted something that sounded slick, simple, and memorable.  We found it unexpectedly.  James and I were just walking to my house for practice, talking about band names.  He thought a cool name would be Alchemy.  I told him it needs something in front of it to sound complete, like ‘Days of’.  In a flash, we were ‘Days of Alchemy’.  We were surprised how fast the name just popped up, but to my knowledge this is a common story of many bands.  When weeks of practicing turn into months, and we rocked our next show, we wanted to be huge.  “How do groups get huge?” we thought; merchandising.  We put our name on two different pins, t-shirts, and even socks.  The band was great, I thought anyways.  It didn’t matter that much to me what others thought, because we were just a group of guys hanging out playing music.  Some of my best times with the band were when we weren’t even playing.  We would go out for breakfast before gigs, went camping, paint balling and became the best of friends. 
But as we all grew older, Chance and James graduated from high school, and their passion for the band started to die out.  They were more interested in drinking and going to clubs on the weekends rather than practicing.  We all still talk but a part of me died when the band did.  My childhood dream was fading as my future became a task of finding a well paying job after high school, rather than doing what I love like my dad used to do.  My parents stressed that I needed a career and not a hobby.  I do however; still play my acoustic guitar on occasion.  I go through phases but there’s no question I don’t play as much as I used to.  And that makes me sad.  So I’ll listen to music that speaks to my sadness, and writing lyrics I relate with, encompassing myself with sadness.  When I want to feel happy, I will listen accordingly.  Music is universal.  There’s always another day to pick of the guitar.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Being: A Hiking Guide Through Life

In the corner of McNally Robinson in Grant Park Shopping Centre on November 30, 2010, there was a podium, and in front of the podium were at least 100 people crowded around trying to find a seat for Dr. Philippe Erhard to read his book titled "Being: A Hiking Guide Through Life", a self help, personal and motivational story.  Dressed in all black, Erhard took the podium, and thanked the crowd for attending.
"I wasn't sure how many people would come tonight, they said I should have a Facebook page for anyone to show up".

He talked about what inspired him to write the book, such as Mark Twain.  His French accent gave character to his English words, both humorous and inspiring.

He spoke about practicing a positive attitude and living in the now, rather than living life on autopilot.  After a brief description of the book, what inspired him to write and what he hopes the audience will take from it, he read chapter seven from his book.

The book is very simple, clear and practical.  At the same time, it addresses thought provoking ideas and questions such as "who are we?" "What is our life goal?". 

Being instead of doing, it's about living life moment by moment and not being on autopilot, develop your feelings and managing them.

After the reading, he thanked his wife, for being the only one who believed him while writing the book, she actually named it.

"I did reach serenity, but my wife is here and she may have a different opinion of the matter".

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Trojan Prince: A Short Story Review

Tessa Hadley's pictureTessa Hadley lives in Cardiff, Wales, and teaches literature and creative writing at Bath Spa University.  Her first novel, Accidents in the Home, was longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award. 

She wrote a fiction short story featured in the New Yorker Nov 15, 2010 edition, called The Trojan Prince.
The story is about a 16 year old boy named James McIlvanney in a 1920 setting; just missing the First World War. He is infatuated with a girl named Ellen Pearson, who is really his second cousin. But marriage wasn't on his to do list, and thought he may be going away to sea shortly anyway. His floundering over Ellen is interrupted throughout by Connie Chappell, one of Ellen's close friends. The plot goes forward at a fairly slow pace, little suspense, but used very descriptive scenes to help the reader along with James pondering over Ellen and whether or not he'd be happy in marriage with her, or if he should follow his urge to go out to sea.
This piece was well written, using great examples of dialogue, point of view, and characterization. However the story seemed bogged down with a slow pace, and only the descriptive writing style kept me intrigued. By the end of the story I did find myself somewhat attached to the characters, the main character James in particular, but was squandered by an ending I questioned of being believable.
But overall I enjoyed reading this story and look forward to reading another from Tessa Hadley in the near future.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

iPad? Meet the BlackBerry PlayBook

You’ve seen it, maybe even played around on it while you were at the mall.  You might have heard it is ‘magical’, or ‘revolutionary’, even.  If apple is using the word magical to describe its products…it’s not magic it’s ‘technology’, and it’s not revolutionary.. it is unique in that it is the first tablet to be released.  Yes, the apple iPad. I’ve have one for the past few months now, and I’m very happy with it.  I’m planning on doing a comprehensive review of the iPad soon.  But this blog isn’t about that… this is more of a competition.. ya.  People like competition. There are many new slates or tablets (whatever you want to call them) on the way, such as the BlackBerry PlayBook.  Im not gonna pull up the exact specs for you, but I’ll give you the link to em.

Upside: it runs flash…iPad does not.   Which means you cant view a lot of content on the web on the iPad…. L But the iPad has all of the apps in the App store and is always growing and now has around 200,000 in total.  That’s a huge advantage, cause if there are no good apps for it, then what’s the point?  Apps ‘are’ the device, it’s because of that, I bought the iPad when I did; because it is miles ahead of other tablet devices I’ve seen in the works thus far.  Can the PlayBook do better?  It has vastly superior hardware, so it has the potential.  We’ll just have to wait and see.. Here’s a prediction though: by 2015, everyone’s gonna have a tablet, or slate, of some sort. It’s gonna catch on once prices drop and there’s more competition in the market.  But here’s the kicker: I was one of the first :p

Friday, November 12, 2010

Beausejour Rememberance Day

Residents of Beausejour and the surrounding area attended the Rememberance Day ceromony held at the Brokenhead Recreational Complex in Beausejour on Nov. 11, to pay their respects to those who lent their service for Canada.  The Remembrance Day ceremony began with the Edward Schreyer School orchestra playing their string instruments, followed by the presentation of colours, and the Canadian national anthem sang by Bonnie Stefanson and her sister Debbie Rattai.
The lights dimmed as everyone in the nearly full complex bowed their heads for the Lord’s Prayer read by Padre Melody A. McKellar, and then were asked to sing along with the school band to the hymn: O God Our Help in Ages Past.  
Padre McKellar read the Prayer of Remembrance, followed by the Master of Ceremonies Judy Trefy who read the names of servicemen who made the supreme sacrifice from the Beausejour and Brokenhead District.  Comrade Walter Zillman said a few choice words: “They shall not grow old, as we who are left grow old.  Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.  At the going down of the sun and in the morning:  We will remember them.” 
Then Reverend John Robertson of St. Paul’s United Church took the stand, and prayed for those who sacrificed so much for us to live the lives we do today. 
In attendance were: Reeve of the RM of Brokenhed, Glen Dudeck; Lac du Bonnet MLA, Gerald Hawranik; and the Mayor of Beausejour, Brad Saluk, who paid their respects to the veterans. 
Comrade McKellar recited the poem In Flanders Fields, which was followed by the laying of the wreaths by members of the community as they were escorted by RCAC Cadet Squadron 249.
The ceremony was closed once Branch 132 President Chuck Trefry said his closing remarks and the colours were dismissed.  After the ceremony, people slowly filed into the legion lounge to talk to veterans and their families over coffee and snacks.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Freestlye.. don't be hatin'

Here's a free style rap by:   B-RABBIT

hey wut up
my name is B
i live in a cup
..of coffee
im double double
..or double trouble?
double dog dare me?
I double down, hit 21
kiss the ground, I finally won
made the right move, in the casino son
these rhymes are getting better the longer they run
till they run off of the page, my words are like a loaded gun


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Poo at the Zoo

Last night my girlfriend and I went to Boo at the Zoo.  I thought that it would be fun, there would be people hiding around corners to scare you and whatnot.  Turns out that my memories of boo at the zoo from when I was a kid were very off.
 Nobody even tried to scare you.  And there were kids EVERYWHERE.  I felt suffocated.  When there was a bunch of them in front of us it made us walk so slow.  Thank god I resisted the urge of tossing the little pukes out of our way. There was an Alice in Wonderland themed section;  no magic mushrooms there, but we did see a large mushroom big enough to sit on.. We didn't.  There was a guy juggling torches and playing with fire which was entertaining for a few minutes.. Probably the best site in the whole place.  They charged us 10 bux per person, rather than the normal like 4. What a rip off.  Anyways, I guess the moral of the story is to not go to Boo at the Zoo unless you have a little kid(s) or you are one,  or you buy your mushrooms from the same place Alice does..

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Social Experiment

I watched the movie The Social Network the other night.  It’s about the co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and how he turned his Internet Social networking site Facebook into a multibillion dollar company.  Near the beginning of the movie, Zuckerberg was portrayed in a negative light after he posted a drunken blog online about his every thought.  In it he mentioned things about his ex-girlfriend such as how she wears a size C braw when she only has B’s; he called that false advertising and I agree.  This led to a fight between the two, and Zuckerberg does come off as a bit of an asshole in that scene, and it seems to continue through the movie.  Having said that, I found that the scene in the legal office/room, where they were having the talks with the lawyers, the one lady lawyer tells him that he's not an asshole; he just tries so hard to be one.  That made me connect with the character and feel like Zuckerburg was more like a real person who has struggles like the rest of us.
I think Facebooks popularity rose from the release of this movie, it got lots of media coverage, and after two or so weeks of being in the theatres, the show I went to was near full.  This probably did much more for Zuckerberg’s popularity more than that of Facebook’s though, since you had to of been living under a rock to not of heard of Facebook before, I don't think most poeple knew who Mark Zuckerberg was: and now we do.
The day the movie came out; Zuckerberg appeared on Oprah and announced the establishment of his foundation and his first gift of $100 million to the Newark school system.  I don’t think that it was necessary, and his claim: that the timing of the donation and its correlation to the movie release was just a coincidence, I thought was laughable.  However, when you have over 500 million on the most popular social networking site on the web, it’s going to take a lot to change people’s perception on the site.  I think he just should have made his appearance on Oprah and whatever other shows he appeared on, and saved his $100 million donation until the DVD release.

Sources Used:

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Reader Beware

My personal reflection of the advertising project Buyer Beware

So here I am and the buyer beware project is over, finally.   Up until the last week and a half, this project had really taken a backstage to the controlled chaos that is CreComm.  When the project was first given to us, we discussed what consumer report would the public benefit from the most, if they were to learn about a company/service.  Everyone in the group was aware of pay day loans, and the new government regulations that were coming into affect to protect customers.  So we thought it would be a really good project, if the public knew more about pay day loans, and how financially unfeasible they are, they may avoid them.  So one of our first steps was to find a well known company who provided that service.  We landed upon Money Mart, one of the biggest players in that market.  We delegated responsibilities to each member of the team.  Shaun went to a Money Mart, and learned more about the customer experience in the store.  Tom and Brian looked at government regulations on pay day loans.  Jon went to an RBC and talked to someone there to talk about other options other than pay day loans, such as credit cards, line of credit, overdrafts and other options.  It was my job to talk to Money Mart customers, and get their thoughts on the services they provided.  So I talked to my girlfriend, and asked her if she knew anyone that had used Money Mart before.  After a few days, she talked to some friends and it turned out that Ashton Beaton had used Money Mart before; she was a girl I used to work with at Wal-Mart in Selkirk, so I thought that would be a good source for a customer perspective.  I met up with her at work on her break, and asked her all the relevant questions I could think of and she told me her story. At this point in the project, everyone had their piece typed up and we were ready to put the pieces together.  My piece was the interview with Ashton, which I couldn’t see as a very large part of the main report, so I quickly felt like I needed to add more to the project.  We realized that we needed to do a class presentation, so I took it upon myself to put the Power Point together.  I thought it was important to say why customers choose Money Mart, and look at other options for them.  The last few days we sent lots of e-mails to each other and exchanged our pieces.  By the time the deadline came around, I think the rest of the team felt fairly confident, I was at least.  I think the presentation went well, everyone explained his part of the project clearly, and I think it was easy to understand.  I saw this as a good group effort, and everyone did a good job.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Hey Sam, Where's My Hug?

The Winnipeg civic election heated up Wednesday morning, when incumbent Sam Katz and Judy Wasylycia-Leis participated in a debate hosted by CJOB's Richard Cloutier.  Sam and Judy were civil towards each other, at the beginning anyway.  The biggest issues of the debate included crime and infrastructure.  Katz said if re-elected he plans to add 58 new police officers, and 20 for the gang unit.  Wasylycia-Leis responded saying that she doesn’t oppose more police, but thinks more funds should be put towards community centers, recreational activities for youth.  Personally, I see cops on the street all the time and about a dozen police cruisers everyday.  But they can't be everywhere all the time.  Crime will only increase if we don't address the root of the problem, so in that aspect I agreed with Wasylycia-Leis. Katz added that we need ex –gang members that have turned their life around, who’ve walked the walk so to speak, to help current gang members get out of crime and turn their lives around.  Impoverished youth need role models like that to look up to, because it’s hard for them to listen to someone telling them how to live their life, when that person doesn’t understand what they’ve went through.

Another issue raised was property taxes.  Wasylycia-Leis wants to raise them by two percent for the next four years, and put the money towards infrastructure, parks, and recreational activities and centers.  Katz responded to this by saying if we raised the provincial tax by only one percent, we will gain a substantial amount more, while not affecting low income families as drastically. 

One thing that caught my eye was when Wasylycia-Leis stated that she would stop un-necessary spending in city hall, by cutting costly survey and study programs. It caught my eye because her response to the question about whether or not she agreed with Winnipeg’s newly purchased helicopter, she said she wouldn’t cancel it, but she would put together a study to see whether it was effective or not.  Wait a minute.  I thought she said she would cut un-necessary studies, wasting tax payer dollars. Huh?

Both candidates were asked if they agreed with the idea of enacting a youth curfew, like other cities have done experiencing crime issues, and both said they did not.

Katz’s main points of focus are to rejuvenate downtown, safety, and infrastructure

Judy stressed that city savings be put into a blind trust.

The debate was heated at some points, but in the end they are still friends, which they showed when Sam got out of his chair and hugged Judy. 

To sum up, Katz is a better showman, he seemed more prepared.   Wasylycia-Leis did her best to answer some good questions, but it all seemed to get lost in her one liners and campaign rhetoric.  Politicians are masters of dancing around the issues, and this morning was no different.  At the end, it left me thinking.. geez, where's my hug Mr. Mayor?

Friday, October 1, 2010

Alright guys and gals. I still can't get the mess that was last Fridays Bomber vs Alouettes cfl game, out of my head. The refs made the wrong call on the bomber fumble recovery in the last minutes of the game. It was a great game, It was exciting and both teams were in it to the end. Great cfl game. Minus the bad calls. There was a couple questionable forward pass interference calls. So, okay, There was a few bad calls in the game, so what?Referees are human and as humans we all make mistake. They are the best at what they do. They are the most qualified. Well it wouldn't be so bad if these wrong calls didn't decide the outcome of games. Maybe letting referees who are American to call some games. After they are properly trained of course. It's just an idea by one person. But something has to be done about the amount of blown calls in the cfl.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

My Cancerous Breath

Smooth. Rough. Light. Thick. Hot, hot, hot. The embers burn, as smoke turns in the air, like clouds through the sky. Rock City Tobacco Co. Number Seven Black. My lungs blacken as my heart attacks. This is the feeling no society lacks. Heard on the news someone was stabbed in the back. What can we do to get this back on track? Maybe more cops can gain some votes in a ballad. Maybe it will lower crime rates, or just raise taxes. But nothing is for certain as the curtain collapses. Only one thing is for certain I light my smokes with matches. Backwards black hat and some cheap sunglasses, keeps my head warm and dims the sun from my eyes. I bought some ear plugs to keep me def to the lies, that I'm hearing everyday from nine to five. Aren't they done with cutting corners? I have no need for these knives. All I need's a cigarette, I crave the rush it provides. It's the feeling that you get when you're just trying to survive. Using yesterdays paper as an umbrella from the lies, that are falling to the ground from the skies. My cancerous breath.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


 It wasn’t my idea to join twitter.  In fact I think I’ve tried to avoid it since its inception. I always used to think people who tweeted were “twats,” or “twits.“  It turns out they like to be called “tweeters.”  Go figure. Use whatever word you want to describe them, they are up to date on anything that might interest them.  As a tweeter, you choose people or organizations whose tweets you think might interest you.  A tweet is a max 140 character public post, that everyone of your "followers" can see.  Likewise, people can follow your tweets if they think what you’re tweeting is interesting, informative, or funny.   As a user you could choose to follow your favourite celebrities, news publications, or even your co-workers and keep up to date on all their latest tweets.  Twitter keeps people in touch and helps keep corporations in touch with their consumers.
However popular it has seemed to become in such a short period of time, some people haven’t jumped on the tweeting bandwagon.  My parents are part of the small group that don’t really know what Twitter is and definitely don’t know how to use it.  I told them I just sent my first tweet and they thought I had bought a bird.  Seriously.   But lets not doubt that Twitter can be useful, it seems like it’s everywhere today.  Heck, if I’m even tweeting, this thing has to be catching on.

Friday, September 10, 2010

It's My First Time

Hello fellow bloggers! My name is Brendyn Michael Bialek. I like my music loud, my pancakes hot, my martini shaken not stirred, and yes, I am a first time blogger. To be honest the concept of what a blog even was had escaped me up until enrolling in the Creative Communications program at Red River College. I'm also a first time tweeter. Oh, the joys of CreComm. Like a new pair of shoes, it may be awkward and take some time to fit, but I'm sure that soon it will become a part of me as if it were grafted to my skin.
The purpose of this blog will be to discuss and research subjects I find interesting. What do I find interesting you may ask? Well, politics, human rights and daily news seem to top my list at the moment. I would like to read and research random subjects such as the creation of money, the latest news story, or something as simple as posting a song I wrote, and have discussions about these topics. Suggestions and comments are always welcome!
This blog will be my public journal for the next two years at least, and while the thought of that makes my stomach slightly curl at the moment, I'm sure its like a new pair of shoes that just need a little time to grow into. For now ill keep my first post short and sweet, more of a jog than a sprint, while i let the second percolate in my subconscious mind for you all to enjoy sometime soon in the next week.