Ontario Energy Scams 
I just had one of those energy salesman scammers show up at my door. Universal Energy or Energy Savings or whatever.

Not only is he trying to get me to switch to an overpriced energy reseller and lock in to some inflated prices for a few years, but he flat-out lied to me and told me he's affiliated with Toronto Hydro.

I asked if he worked for Toronto Hydro. He told me they're affiliated with them because they show up on the hydro bill.

That's like a phone sex operator telling me they're affiliated with Bell because the charge comes on your phone bill.

He also told me 90% of my neighbours were already signed up. I hope to God that isn't true. I don't want to live in a neighbourhood full of idiots!

I hate these stupid energy scams.

If you've signed up with one, you've been had. If you want more information on that, drop a note and I'll explain further.

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Everything is for sale. 
The CFL has decided to sell the naming rights to the Grey Cup.

So what's next? The Home Depot Stanley Cup?? Is there no pride or sense of tradition anymore?

This trend of offering up naming rights to anything and everything has been bothering me for a while now. When MLSE immediately made a profit on the stadium we taxpayers bought for them by selling the naming rights to BMO, it was a shining example of how such a trivial thing can fetch huge money and I'm sure the politicians that brokered the deal felt at least a little stupid that they didn't just sell the naming rights themselves.

Well... I'd expect them to feel stupid if I didn't expect that they all had a big payday in kickbacks out of the whole thing.

Where do we draw the line though? If Subway sandwiches sponsors the TTC, will we get new subway stops? If I put a big logo on my garage door, will some company pay me for it?

Is there no end to what society will accept as acceptible venues for advertising?

I wonder if I'll look back on this in 10 years and long for the days when it was just the names that were for sale...


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Monkey Cakes 
I just ate a little muffin thing shaped like a monkey.

It was like a gummy bear, but it was bigger and made of muffin and shaped like a monkey.

It made me happy. I'm not sure why.


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Now we pay bottle tax? 
I'm forced to question the motivation behind the new return system for bottles to the LCBO.

What is the value in this? Why do they want you to bring them the bottles rather than just leaving them at the curb in the recycle bin with the rest of your glassware?

With Brewers Retail (The Beer Store), it is understandable. They want the bottles back because they are an integral part of the network that allows beer bottles to be efficiently reused in Ontario. By taking them back in an unbroken state, nicely organized, they are reducing the cost of recycling them and helping keep the cost of beer down for those who use them. I commend that.

The LCBO is different though. They have no such network. They are not part of any recycling system that will benefit from the bottles going through them. So far as I can tell, there is no good reason for them to accept returns other than to collect the deposits as a tax and profit on any bottles that get recycled through more convenient methods.

The Ontario Liberals can pretend they're being environmentally conscious with this nonsense, but the fact is that we already have perfectly good ways of recycling bottles and this isn't helping things. I don't think that people who can't be bothered to put the bottles in the recycle bin instead of the trash will be driven by the prospect of a shiny new dime to pack them over to the LCBO and return them.

In the end, it's just their way of stealing a little more from us.


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The Gas Station of the Future 
This is cool. It's the gas station of the future, in your own garage.

Solar Powered Hydrogen Station

I'm sure it's still quite some time away, but imagine a future where you're no longer dependant on others for your daily energy needs!

I don't really know enough about hydrogen use as a fuel to know how far reaching this will be, but it's nice to dream about a future where your weekly and monthly expenses don't fluctuate at the whims of the gas companies.

I wonder what sort of fuel cell installation you'd need to power your entire house...

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