The NASCAR Gods Have Frowned Upon Me 
Yesterday was a great day for racing. If you're a race fan, you couldn't help but be entertained.

While I hadn't planned on waking in time to catch it, I managed to see the end of the Monaco GP and was happy to see LHJ coming in for the win. Good for him! I'm not much of an F1 fan, but as they seem to be putting the skill back into the driving with some of the driver aids taken away, it's nice to see the top notch driver taking a win after racing in the rain without traction control. Very good!

Then came the Indy 500. The greatest spectacle in racing, as they say. I have to admit that I'm not much of an IRL fan either, but the 500 was great fun to watch, even if just to see whether this would be Danica's year. You just can't help but love watching her race. Waching Sarah Fisher crying like a girl after crashing out was just plain sad, so having Danica up in arms and ready to kill after she was taken out was a refreshing reminder of just how much she fits in.

Finally, the Coke 600 just wouldn't let me have a victory, however small. I had all sorts of chances. My top fantasy racing team had Jimmie Johnson picked to win, and all seemed to be going swimmingly until his engine blew up. Then it seemed that at least one of my favs would take the win, with Jr. running strong at the front before crashing into the wall. Even that didn't deter me though, as my boy Tony took his spot and seemed like he was on a cake walk to the finish before also losing a tire and hitting the wall.

It just wasn't meant to be, but was at least hugely entertaining.

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Yay! TheStar has the AutoBlog back! 
They tried this once a while back, and I was excited about contributing. Then it disappeared.

Now it's back.

There's nothing really notable there yet, but I look forward to what Mr. Kenzie has to say in such an interactive medium. Here's hoping it lasts longer than the last one did.

http://thestar.blogs.com/kenzie/

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More info on Ontario Energy Scams 
I just saw a link to the energyshop.com site from a news article, and remembered a previous post here.

Someone anonymously replied linking to that same site.

I went and checked it out, and can't help but to feel like they're trying to pull a fast one on me.

They list a bunch of the energy retailers (scammers) and their prices. Then, toward the bottom, they list quite separately the "Regulated Residential Rates", which is what you pay Enbridge.

The chart for the scammers shows only the gas supply rates. The cheapest (and I assume the one this site is associated with) is Canadian RiteRate Energy, at 35.8 /m3 for a 5 year contract or 38.8 /m3 for 3 years.

The very different chart, for the market supplier, has completely different headings. I'll describe it here:

First it says the gas supply is 30.36 /m3. Then it mentions a -3.96 /m3 adjustment. They don't do the math, but that tells me the supply rate is actually 26.4 /m3, a number not mentioned at all on the chart.

Note, at this point, that the very cheapest rate offered from a retailer is a full 36% higher than this market rate.

Next on the chart is the 14 /m3 delivery charge that you have to pay no matter who you're paying for your gas. That's not mentioned anywhere on the previous chart for the retailers, but you have to pay that when you're buying from them as well. Finally, it lists a "Total /m3" of 40.39, which has every indication of being more money than you'll pay a retailer, even though it's far less. That's followed up with some mention of a monthly fee and an estimated bill amount of nearly $1400.

Is there an estimated bill amount listed for the retailers? Nope.

Are you feeling like they're trying to deceive you? You should, because they are.

For what it's worth, I'm going to do the math for you and toss out my own estimated billing number here.

Based on 31,000 m / year, at the very best rate they're offering I estimate you'll pay $15,449.95. Now put that in your pipe and smoke it!

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Stay at home moms are worth WHAT?? 
Salary.com has done some sort of study and determined that based on the work they do, a stay at home parent, if compensated as though it were their job, would make $117,000 USD a year.

See the story here: http://www.citynews.ca/news/news_22526.aspx

Now I'm sure they put great effort into coming up with that, but let's put a little perspective on it.

Let's say you were given a $117k cheque each year to hire someone to take care of your kids. Would you hire your mom, or do you think you could probably do better?

This isn't a slight against anyone's mom. Just puttin' it out there to chew on.

Of course, they could probably do even better if they unionized, and wouldn't have to work nearly as hard.


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Toronto City Council are Idiots! 
For all the talk we hear about how society is getting fatter, and we're collectively not getting enough exercise, it would appear that Toronto has responded to the call by making it illegal to get some friends together and throw a ball around in a public park.

I play softball in a recreational league. We have permits to use the diamonds we play on, which start next week and ensure that we have exclusive use of them to play our games.

Obviously a system like this is needed or nobody would ever be able to run a league.

What happens though, when nobody has a permit for the diamonds at any given time? You'd think it would work on a first-come, first-served basis and the public would be free to go out there and throw some balls around just for fun. Apparently this isn't the case.

Though our schedule doesn't officially start until next week, a bunch of players got coordinated and decided to play a practice game just for kicks last night. An email then got sent out saying the following:

The teams from the 5pm games were met by permit checkers on the field just now. If a team plays without a permit, it is a $300 fine per team. We all knew that in past years we could sneak past the system and play a week early but today that has come to an end. For next week's game, copies of our permit will be handed to each captain to retain with their roster and other game paperwork.


So, as I understand it, unless you pay to use them, public ball diamonds are off limits. Forget about getting some friends together for a pick-up game. If the city isn't taking money from you, they'd rather the diamonds be empty and unused.

How very nice of them. Rat bastards.


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