Sunday, 30 October 2011

Facebook Follies

Did you see the CBC documentary called "Facebook Follies" ?

Here I was thinking that I have all my privacy settings to "Friends only" so I am safe!  Well apparently not!  This program showed several experts including the security firm that monitors Facebook, (yes they can see everyone's content), as well as stories about the good and bad things that happen when you post on facebook.

I learned:

  • photos and comments remain on the web forever, and if your friends chose to copy and paste them elsewhere, that may surprise you when they turn up 10 years from now.   I do feel sorry for the young man who tried to run for provincial politics, only to have to withdraw because of old high school photos that resurfaced.  It didn't matter that he now had a university degree and was a good citizen, all that made the news was the old photos.   
  • I am thankful there were no cameras around when I did stupid stuff in high school, (I mean I might have done something stupid once.....), luckily I can just leave that in my past, unless one of my friends wants to joke about it.  Today's teenagers are never going to be allowed to forget, there are cameras everywhere, and once that photo makes the internet, it is there for your future to see!  Back in the day (never thought I'd be old enough to say that phrase)  when we went clubbing, cameras were not allowed in a bar or night club, now they all have websites that post photos & videos of their customers partying!
  • How many friends do you have in real life that you can truly trust? How does that number compare to your number of friends on facebook?
  • Say you can safely trust all your friends on facebook, well what about the people they share their facebook page with? You cannot possibly know all the people who could see your facebook page, never mind trusting them!
  • So don't post things like photos while you are on vacation, or even comment about being on vacation or looking forward to vacation, etc.  Wait til you get home.  You may not have your address on facebook but it is easy to find in a phone book or google search.  Thieves know what to look for and will take advantage of this easy opportunity!
  • I loved the good story, of Kelly Hildebrant meeting and later marrying her husband, Kelly Hildebrant, just by searching her name one night, and contacting this cute guy with the same name as her.  Also loved Conan O'Brien's comment "record number of guys change their name to Megan Fox"

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Occupy Vancouver has lost my respect.

  • I am disappointed in the 99% protesters camped out in downtown Vancouver. 
  • It started out as a good intentioned weekend (although I don't think people in Vancouver are that bad off) I will listen to other opinions, but once you make your point, you should stop now
  • Blocking intersections in a busy city makes you the 1% distrupting the 99%
To the protesters: I ask
  • What is your goal?  I keep hearing on the news that you are going to stay as long as it takes to reach your goal. 
  • Please put your goal in writing so we will all know when you reach it.  (Stop the BullShit is not a clear goal)
  • Have you heard of Craig Kielburger?  He is living proof change can be made without protest.
  • Do you know that you had the support of the community, but you are losing it quickly!
  • Do you have jobs? 
  • Are you students?
  • Were you homeless before this protest?
  • Wouldn't working or going to school get you closer to your goal?
  • Think of the money the City could be spending to help you reach your goal if they weren't wasting it on policing costs to guard your tent city!

I saw one sign that said "Put the politicians on minimum wage and watch how fast things change"That would be an interesting challenge, why not work toward something like that? I am just not clear on how  camping in a tent or disrupting traffic is going to accomplish anything?  
Please help me understand.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Tolls and Translink Vancouver

The other day we were talking about how much tolls are going to be on the new Port Mann bridge.

I have heard anything form $3.00 to $5.30 per trip, the cheaper rate is with a transponder.

In August we took our first trip over the Golden Ears bridge to Maple Ridge, we had no idea how much that would cost, there are no signs showing the cost.  The next month the bill came in the mail for $8.20.  That is a roundtrip without a transponder. (I won't go into the additional cost of mailing this bill)

So a good friend of mine says we should all just get a transponder no matter how often you take a bridge.

Which brought up another topic......They are building a huge new IKEA store in Richmond, which to me is great because I was thinking when they toll that new Port Mann bridge from Surrey to Coquitlam, I won't want to go to that IKEA store that I love!  But I will drive to Richmond cause there is no toll to go through the tunnel.  I betcha those wise IKEA folks knew I wouldn't be the only one on this side of the river, thinking like this, so they decided to expand the old IKEA store in Richmond, good thinking I say!

Dear Translink, you need to think more like IKEA.

  • Why doesn't every one have a manditory transponder? Instead of more new gas taxes, put a toll on all bridges and tunnels.  
  • Start with the 25 cents they were going to use as a new gas tax.  
  • So every bridge and tunnel you go through everyday will be the same price, new or old.  That way we are not all avoiding the expensive new bridges, and cramming up the old ones that are free.
  • Then the real users of the bridges and tunnels are the ones who pay for them, not just  people who buy gas.
  • I do not travel daily over bridges, so this seems like such a fair way of doing things.
  • the only con I see is the initial cost of putting up those toll cameras, and who should pay for the transponders (I think that ICBC should issue them with your insurance and all those reserves they have should pay for them nicely)

What do you think?

Did you know you can share your opinions with Translink

And on another note, all you folks who complain about ICBC, you can share your opinons with them as well.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

It's called an accident for a reason, it's not an "On Purpose"

Hopefully you have never had the misfortune to have been in a car accident, but suppose you were, or your teenage child was?  What's the first thing you would do?

I know that both my kids took driving lessons, and were taught what to do if an accident occurred, but were they listening?

I just assumed that they were, until the day my daughter called and said she had been in an accident.

She was rear ended by another vehicle.  It was a dark and rainy night, she and the other driver pulled over, but instead of exchanging information, the other driver said, "you OK? there isn't any damage" and got in his car and left.

You would be surprised how much of a shock it is to your body/brain, just being in an accident, even if you do not feel injured.  I was an insurance adjuster for many years, specializing in injury claims from car accidents.  I don't know why I did not discuss "what to do if you have an accident" with my kids, I just assumed the knew or they would call me.....(too much assumption on my part )

So here's my advice:
Print this list and put it in your glove box

  • call 911 if there are injuries
  • take photos, use your cellphone or a passenger can do this for you.
  • take a photo of the other car, get the license plate in the shot.
  • take a photo of the intersection, street signs, and actual resting place of the cars if they have not been moved
  • look for witnesses, even take photos of car's license plates that were behind you, they might leave before you can ask for a phone number, ICBC can track a license plate to get witness info later if needed.  (best to get witness names and phone numbers if you can)
  • Call your parents, family member if you need help (no one will be mad at you) 
  • Now get out a pen and paper and write down the license plate number, look at the other person's driver's license, is it the right person? write down the D.L. number, and the registration number from the insurance papers that go with the car, as well as driver's phone numbers & passenger names.
  • if you don't have a pen take pictures of those items (make sure it is clear though, could be hard in the dark, you could also do a voice recording on your phone of the numbers ) 
  • There is no need to get into a discussion about who is at fault, or how much the repairs will cost etc, You have Insurance for that, let the experts handle it!
  • If the other person knows it is their fault and they want to pay for your repairs privately, you can tell them you will discuss this tomorrow to avoid conflict.  But the next day you should tell them the answer is NO, if the other driver is at fault he can repay ICBC for the damages and his insurance will not be affected.  All drivers have this choice.  Using a stranger's bodyshop to repair your car is just asking for trouble.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Harper government proposes tougher language rules for immigrants

Harper government proposes tougher language rules for immigrants

Harper supports tougher language rules for immigrants

Reading the province newspaper this morning, "Harper supports tougher language rules for immigrants". The changes proposed are not drastic, immigrants would have to prove they can speak English or French when submitting their application for citizenship. The article then goes on to say why immigration lawyers think this is too tough, and we should leave well enough alone. There must be a potential for a loss of money for these lawyers???

I believe all Canadians should speak English or French and then any other language they choose as well. See my post from July 3/09. I firmly believe that people who want to live in Canada should speak one of our official languages and we should not have to pay for them to learn that language. We would save millions in ESL education costs, as well as being able to understand what our neighbors are saying. I am sure the lawyers can find another way to make money.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Never too old to learn a new trick!

For the past 2 days I have been helping my in-laws learn to use a computer, they are in their 80's and have no computer experience but they really like this new iPad and want to give it a try.  Good for them!

As for me, I have learned that

  • the iPad 2 is way better than my last year's iPad, wish I had waited, but it still doesn't have Flash player, so maybe I'll wait for that.  
  • to set up a new iPad you need a computer, (which the in-laws don't have) 
  • When you plug in the new iPad to your computer you should sign out of your itunes account first, cause the ipad just syncs with the account already on itunes, and changing that took me hours! (because I didn't sign out, and the screen that asks you if you want to create a new account did not appear???, it did the second time I tried.... an hour later)
  • When teaching older people something new they should be wearing their glasses, and hearing aids (if applicable)
  • I am a patient person, and I feel good about that!

In the news today is a story of a 100yr. old man who is going to run the Toronto marathon, he just started running when he was in his 80's.

This is all good news to me, as I am not anywhere near 80, so of course I can write a blog, and get in better shape, and fix that nagging shoulder injury,  just do it, move more, eat less, all those easy things to say.....time to get busy!
Have a great Day!

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Planning your next vacation?

When the weather starts to change, the travel deals start showing up in the newspaper and I want to go somewhere...It's hard to ignore the ads for $495 for a week in the sunshine!

Every year, (well about 3 or 4 times a year now) I sit down at my computer and try to find a great sunny vacation.  Now that my kids are away at university I can take advantage of those deals, but most often I find they are not for me.

  •  I don't like the food at 3 star resorts in Mexico, and if I am going to Hawaii I want to stay on the beach not a few blocks away. 
  •  Often those great deals are in the off season, like pacific coast Mexico is August - very hot and humid, Atlantic Coast -in hurricane season from June to November.  
  • We did try the Riveria Maya one year in October, it was so humid we did not feel like doing anything and the mosquitos ate us alive!  Great deal though,  a fabulous adult only resort called the Valentin Imperial Maya (would pay a bit more to go back at a better time of year)

So I start by deciding what is important to us for this trip, sometimes it is just because of a great deal, (I would still pay more than the $495 for a 5 star resort, they would be on sale too) but it could be to see a new city/country, (then the priority is location and timing, when's the best weather?)

I have found:

  1.  the best site to research prices in Canada is  this site has almost all tour operators and usually beats the price of booking with the actual supplier
  2. you need to spend some time reading reviews on Trip Advisor, what do others think of the food, beach, accommodations, service, good for kids or adults? whatever is important to you......but read at least 10 and take an average cause some people are just whiners!
  3. If you are travelling without kids, Adults only resorts are heaven!  It may cost a few hundred $ more but averaged out it will be sooo worth it.  The food, service & Alcohol are all a better class, and no one else's little brat is screaming beside you at your table or by the pool,  Heaven!
  4. Booking a condo thru is easy and saves a lot of money.  Tripadvisor, owner direct, flipkey and many more sites also do this but I have only used vrbo, so far.
  5. If you have a credit card that collects travel points, spend them at peak periods like christmas, spring break, if you aren't using a credit card like this, you are missing out on free airfare every year.  I don't recommend you use points for the land, the amount of points needed is too high.
  6. Check they have a travel planner that tells you the average weather you can expect for the dates you are thinking of.  Also try the city or country's tourism website for their description of the annual weather.  
  7. I often use a travel agent to book trips for me after I have done all the research, because Travel Agents have insurance to protect you if a tour operator goes bust.  Your credit card may offer this protection as well.  
  8. Travel agents can do all of the above for you, but even with their recommendations I still feel the need to research places myself before I decide.

I have a few reviews on (username : carcar47), I am not a travel agent but I love doing this kind of research, so if you have any questions or other good stuff you have found, let's share.

Monday, 10 October 2011

July 3/09 published letter to editor


Immigrant's responsibility to learn the language

Vancouver Sun
Fri Jul 3 2009
Page: A6
Section: Editorial
Byline: Carolyn Keay
Source: Vancouver Sun 

I don't agree with Manori Ravindran's letter of June 30. Why should it be the financial responsibility of Canadians to educate people who choose to immigrate here?
Unless you are a refugee, you probably planned to move to Canada. If you want to work and be part of society, you need to learn the language, so why not learn it before you get here?
I also disagree with the Canadian government paying for ESL students. Why should we hire extra teachers to teach English to young children whose parents haven't bothered to learn English?
If I (a third-generation Canadian) want to learn to speak another language, I have to invest my time and money to learn it. I'm not asking Mexico to pay for my Spanish lessons.
Carolyn Keay

Edition: Final
Story Type: Letter
Length: 129 words
Idnumber: 200907030030 

Nov 15/10 letter to Editor published in Vancouver Sun


Variables mean not everyone can have a couple of drinks with dinner and safely drive

Vancouver Sun
Mon Nov 15 2010
Page: A10
Section: Letters
Byline: Carolyn Keay
Source: Vancouver Sun 

I don't think you need to change the new drinking driving laws; it is probably good the public is scared to drink and drive because of these penalties. What needs to be done is to make it easier to go out to dinner or to a local pub without driving. We have tried to take a cab, but there are not enough of them available at night. I am not interested in taking a bus at night (in south Surrey, where we live, there are no buses anyway). When we go out, we prefer local restaurants, a 10 or 15 minute drive. Taking a cab involves a 40-minute wait to get picked up and a constant busy signal trying to call a cab to get home. There is no standing on the street to flag a cab like in downtown Vancouver. So either give us more cabs or allow restaurants and pubs to run their own shuttle services, then we can all abide by the law, and reduce fatalities caused by drinking and driving.
Carolyn Keay

Edition: Final
Story Type: Letter
Length: 175 words
Idnumber: 201011150016 

It"s Thanksgiving, what are you thankful for?

Canadian Thanksgiving, Oct 10/2011, my first blog post ever, .........

Things that I am Thankful for 

- my family, even though they often make me crazy, life would be boring without them 
- that handsome and talented man that I love
- 2 great kids, a constant source of joy and pride and alot of other emotions
- 2 turkey dinners in one weekend
- chocolate
- red wine
-my personal trainer, I will visit tomorrow