Monthly Archives: February 2014

They're everywhere and can usually be found early in the morning. They're subtle in their approach and often make contact with a "Good morning" or "Lovely day we're having". But don't be tricked by their friendly way and kind-hearted look.

They are The Walking Retired. Dog walker

They wander the streets, usually in pairs, sometime in groups. They might be disguised as an exercise group briskly motoring up the street and showing no sign of wanting to communicate,  but it's only a matter of time.

Oh sure, they may walk by your house for a week without noticing you or making eye contact, but that's part of their master plan. You might be out one day raking leaves, cutting the lawn or digging out weeds (Warning: you're most vulnerable when you're on your knees focused on a gardening chore). That's when they strike.

"Those weeds are a nuisance, aren't they?" you'll hear from nowhere.


Blackberry, I believe.

Maybe it's because I lived in Cambridge for 20 years and its proximity to Waterloo, Ontario (aka. Blackberryland) brainwashed me. Maybe it's because I have bought and sold Blackberry stock twice over the past 10 years and came out ahead. Or maybe it's simply a case of believing that you can't keep a good product or idea down.

Currently into round three of my love affair with Blackberry stock, I'm bleeding money. I bought the stock at a higher rate than it's current $10-$11 per share (OK, a whole lot higher) and my investment portfolio has been tanking for the past six months.


But give up on Blackberry? Never. In fact, I might just purchase more of the volatile stock.

Why? Because I believe.

I believed in Blackberry when it was created by engineering students Mike Lazaridis and Douglas Fregin in 1984 and was called Research In Motion. In 1992, Lazaridis hired Jim Balsillie. The (more…)

When Senator David Smith chats, he easily drops names like Jean Chretien, Pierre Elliott Trudeau and even Bill Clinton. And it's not some ego thing. Smith has lived a life of politics which has included running a national election campaign for former Prime Minister Jean Chretien.

Senator David Smith
Senator David Smith

During a recent visit to the Rotary Club of Cobourg, Smith reflected on a career which dates back to the 1960s. In that time, he has become acquainted with every prime minister since "Dief" (former prime minister John Diefenbaker). And when he spends time at his summer home in Cobourg, he has hosted the likes of Chretien and former Prime Minister Paul Martin during quiet, no media, low key dinners.

In 1972, David Smith was elected to Toronto City Council and re-elected in 1974 and 1976, moving to federal politics as a an MP for the riding of Don Valley East from (more…)


Ambrosia's self-titled debut LP
Ambrosia's self-titled debut LP

Ambrosia, I suppose it's an acquired taste. No it's not the apple or exotica fragrance. It's a rock band that dates back to the '70s and began as a prog/rock-type outfit similar to bands like Yes and Emerson, Lake and Palmer.

Their initial album was self-titled and my favourite to date. It was experimental with one song co-written with author Kurt Vonnegut Jr, along with a spoken verse from Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky. Not to mention that the record was engineered by Alan Parsons, who also produced their second album "Somewhere I’ve Never Travelled".

They had a truly unique sound, which became much more mainstream in future records. If you don't remember their debut album, you will remember such hits as  “How Much I Feel, Biggest Part of Me" and “You’re the Only Woman". All the songs did well on radio, and collected their own audience, a thousand miles away from (more…)

Way back in Grade 2, my homeroom class exchanged Valentine cards. We each had a small folder taped to the front of our desk and at the start of the day we would go from desk to desk distributing little "Be My Valentine" cards to friends and sweethearts. The process took about five minutes and when I returned to my desk I was crushed. My folder was empty.

Angela Hurst
Angela Hurst

While everyone shared their cards and popularity, I quickly got rid of my folder into my desk and acted like everything was fine.

When anybody asked how many cards I received, I just nonchalantly changed the subject or asked about their cards. I was humiliated and felt very alone. I wasn't the most outgoing student to start with, so this event didn't help my self-esteem. I didn't even share the news with my parents. I was simply too embarrassed to (more…)