Friday, September 28, 2007

Doing my Civic Duty

At Brad’s encouragement we’re attempting to be well informed for the upcoming Mayoral election. To help I’ve investigated the candidates (those that had websites anyway). I didn’t want my time and effort to be wasted, so to help all you Calgarians here is some info on the candidates and my opinions about them. I will warn you, this is going to be a fairly long entry.

David Bertram – Doing what's right for Calgary
Additional Info:
– Accountant
– Really crappy web site

Dave Bronconnier – Leading with Passion and Purpose
Additional Info:
– Far more info than I was willing to write down but I know that I like him.

Elizabeth Fielding – People First
– A responsive unified city hall is the most important change I plan to bring to Calgary.
– “The issues are not what any Candidate wants them to be, but what the majority of Calgarians feel they are. That’s just a dumb sentence
– “Respect each other, respect ourselves, this can prevent arguments, change attitudes, move mountains or at least remove road blocks!!!”
– Feels strongly about the poor treatment of Seniors and is focusing on that.

Additional Info
Doesn’t look even a little bit professional. Really should have a better picture on her website. Really terrible photos
– Got sick and used allopathic and alternative healing methods
– “She is planning for a Positive Approach, Progressive and Unified City Hall that will set the Pace World Wide for Innovative Municipal Government.” Fairly certain she didn’t write this sentence at all, it’s far too good compared to the rest of the site.
– Seems a bit over ambitious. States a couple times that she wants to make Calgary world leaders in certain aspects.
– Random use of capital letters bugs me

Al Foster – A Move Forward
– Calgary is a Great City with a Proud History of Honest Hard Working People and it's time we gave The City back to these people. Apparently the city has become so crime riddled that it’s been taken away from the honest people? That’s just silly.
– Basically he says that Bronconnier is crappy. He notes how taxes have increased and supposedly 69% of Calgarians don’t like Bronconnier and I guess it’s him and his friends that run the city.
– “It’s time we had an Accountable Leader not a Politician running this city”
– “It's Time to FOSTER some New Ideas in City Hall” Heh heh heh, clever
– “A Vote for Foster is a Vote for Yourself a Vote for the Future”

Additional Info
– Grouchy Looking. Would look much more approachable if he shaved his beard
– He’s 55, been married for 34 years and has 2 sons
– Until he retired he worked at a pipe manufacturing plants doing inspections. He supervised and trained something like 133 people.
– Ran for Mayor in 2001 and 2004
– “Al believes in the health, welfare and safety of all Calgarian's and again if elected is pledging 25% of his salary to local charities and community programs.” Very cool
– Thinks the Tusina Nations dispute would have been solved if Dave hadn’t bullied them
Doesn’t think we should be paying for Highway 22x improvements, it’s a provincial road
– I guess Dave is arrogant and has poor negotiation skills

Harry Heck – We can...
– Focuses on the standard issues. Taxes, Transportation, homelessness, all the basics.
– Has a lot of great ideas but doesn’t mention how he plans on following through.

Additional Info
– Wow, he’s the same age as me
– Marketing Consultant, Real Estate Agent (basically a bunch of random jobs)
– Seems really honest. Isn’t afraid to show people his failures and how they’ve made him better. Seems a little young to be mayor though

Sandy Jenkins - Expect More, Calgary
– Build LRT Subway Downtown – Would cost $600MM
– Open up the Taxi Commission, get cabs on the street
– Discontinue Market Value Assessments after 25 years of ownership
– Legalize all Secondary Suites
– Move West leg of LRT to Mount Royal College
– Campaign Finance Reform

Additional Info
– I expected Sandy to be a girl
– Has a blog, I appreciate that
– Looks like a good candidate

Jonathan (JJ) Sunstrum – ABC, A Better Calgary
– He had a link on smoking so I got excited thinking maybe he’d want to really get rid of it but he’s just saying there should be ash trays to avoid cigarette butt trash.
– The graffiti in this town “is really lame, and you know who you are”, sounded like he was 17.

Additional Info
– Also has a blog
– Uses a lot of really crappy quality video to tell about his issues. It’s hard to hear what he’s saying over the loud wind.
– His site was a pain to use so I didn’t actually read about all of the issues he’s addressing, it took to long. They’re all on their own page, with their own crappy video.
– Site quit on me and I didn’t care enough to restart it.

Jeremy Zhao (JZ) – Didn’t have a campaign theme
– Taxation
– Environment
– Affordable Housing
– Transit
– Homelessness
– Infrastructure Maintenance (spelled wrong)
– Voter Apathy

Additional Info
– Very cool website
– Daily updated blog
– You can easily add him to your Face book account, yay! (there’s sarcasm there)
– Only 19
– “All streams of media decided Jeremy Zhao was not notable enough to be discussed. Therefore Jeremy has decided to re-announce his intentions to run again. I am very excited to re-announce my plans to run again,¨ says Jeremy. Failure in getting a good head start has forced Jeremy to look for other methods of spreading his campaign, including Facebook and YouTube.” A little sad

There was one more candidate, Alnoor Kassam. His website wasn't listed on the City of Calgary page so I didn't look him up until just now. He has a very nice website but I've already made up my mind about who I'm voting for so I didn't feel like cutting and pasting. If you want to check out Alnoor is website is here.

Happy voting!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Weekend in Review

I spent the last little bit reading others blog entries hoping to be inspired for my own. It’s been such a long time since I posted an entry but I haven’t felt inspired at all. Funny how sometimes every moment seems like a blog entry and other times my life seems so dull I’m sure no one’s interested.

I suppose I’ll just have to go with a boring old weekend recap, despite it being Tuesday already.

On Friday I did something I haven’t done in at least 15 years, I attended a Primary party. I really admire the simplicity of said party. We met at a park where the kids played on a jungle gym, then we gathered them and had a quick scavenger hunt. The kids played some more and then we ate pizza and cookies which was followed by more playing. And that was it. Let me tell you, a Primary party is a whole lot different then a Relief Society party.

After the party we headed up to Airdrie for my Sister-in-law’s birthday dinner where we had a great time visiting with family, ate some really good food and got a few more wedding gifts, people’s generosity never ceases to amaze me.

A standard Saturday for me usually involves some sleeping in and then some house cleaning with some laundry thrown in. Brad comes home at 3:00 so we normally do something in the evening. Well this Saturday I threw my routine out the window and did zero laundry and zero cleaning. Instead I went shopping with another sister-in-law and managed to find the greatest deal! Two pairs of jeans (which I love) for $50. They were buy one get one free and Lisa had a 10% off and a $5 off. Best deal of the day! The evening was really fun, Brad and I went for dinner at Diner Deluxe and then we went and saw the movie Stardust which I would absolutely recommend.

Sunday we had dinner with friends and then played the Game of Life which has improved considerably since I was a kid.

All in all a really great weekend full of friends, family, yummy food and lots of laughs.
I’ll hope for one just as fun this week.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Skip Work, Make Babies

I found this article today, it's seems like some reality tv show, not a government endorsed population campaign.

"The governor of a central Russian province urged couples to skip work Wednesday and make love instead to help boost Russia's low birth-rate.

And if a woman gives birth in exactly nine months time -- on Russia's national day on June 12 -- she will qualify for a prize, perhaps even winning a new home.

Russia wants to reverse a trend in which the population is shrinking by about 700,000 people a year as births fail to outpace a high death rate boosted by AIDS, alcoholism and suicide.

This year a record 78 babies were born on June 12 at the main hospital in the regional capital of Ulyanovsk, beating the 2006 total of 26, said chief doctor Andrei Malykh."

People will do anything to win.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Love Love Love

I'm ridiculously in love with my new purchase.

I've been looking for a new set of sheets since we got married. I want purple ones to match some pillows I made from fabric used at our wedding. So far I've had zero luck finding these sheets, I didn't reazlie it's be so difficult.

So it's become habit that as we walk through a store that sells sheets we check them out, hoping for some purple ones. The other day we're walking through Walmart and go through the sheet aisle... and then I see them. They're not purple at all, not even remotely, this picture doesn't do them justice... pink, paisly. They're hip granny sheets and I love them.

They make me giggle every time I see them! As an added bonus they were super cheap (although not the greatest quality).

Apparantly when I picked them up to buy them Brad though, "Is she kidding?" I wasn't kidding, and my joy at them has yet to decrease.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Story Time

Funny story... so we were supposed to go to a birthday party last night for a guy in our ward.

Brad knew him growing up but they haven’t stayed in touch over the years, his wife is the teacher of the Sunbeam class that I assist in. We were invited and figured we should go, so we bought him a birthday card and headed over. We don’t know them well and they aren’t necessarily the kind of people we normally hang out with so we already expected a little awkwardness. We pull up to the house and only get more nervous when we notice there are next to no cars outside the house, not a good sign for a party. We ring the doorbell and it takes Jaime (the wife) a long time to answer, again not a good sign.

As soon as we see Jaime, we see "the look"... you know what I'm talking about, the "I have no idea what you're doing here but I'll be polite until I find out" look. There was obviously no party going on. I decided to break the awkwardness quickly and said something like, "You have no idea why we're here do you?" She confirms that she's confused. We totally got the date of the party wrong, it's tomorrow night instead... oops!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Ode to Clodhoppers

This weekend turned out even better than expected. It was filled with hot tubbing, Chair lift rides, Wii games, board/card games, lots of laughs and a ridiculous amount of food.

Here’s to more ice cream than a person can or should eat in one weekend and the discovery of bulk Clodhoppers as a topping, genius!

Let's do it again sometime