Reserved Parking for Tree Huggers 
Apparently Ikea is going to start setting aside parking spaces reserved for hybrid or fuel efficient cars. How they determine who qualifies is yet to be disclosed. Perhaps the same idiot who determined which cars or "trucks" qualified for the government rebates will make a list for them.

It pisses me off when people misuse handicap parking spaces, and I'm more than happy to give up spots reserved for knocked up chicks, but I'll be damned if I think I should park farther way so tree huggers can be closer to the doors!!!

Will they be able to give out tickets? Will they have cars towed? Or will tree huggers just key your car if you're parked in one of these spaces?

This is something I just can't respect or get behind.

If they want to be environmentally conscious, they should reserve spaces for gas guzzlers so they don't have to drive up and down the aisles looking for a spot. If the hybrids make a couple extra laps trying to find one, it's of far less impact to the environment.



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Is Facebook the Devil? 
I haven't signed up for Facebook. I don't feel the need to. So far as I gather, it's for getting in touch with people you haven't been in touch with for ages. I think that if those people wanted to be in touch with me, they'd find that I am perfectly easy to find as it is, and doesn't need to be any easier.

I'm not interested in making contact just for the sake of making contact.

That's all besides the point though. The people I know who frequent Facebook have been making it out to be a form of online crack. An addiction they're finding more and more drawn to.

With that in mind, I have little doubt that it's not much different than any other online site that takes up a lot of people's time, and brings down employee productivity in the process. With that in mind, hearing that the Canadian government's IT people have decided to block it from employee's use didn't surprise me at all.

TorStar Article

What's interesting about this though is that Facebook chief privacy officer Chris Kelly chimed in on this to say the following:


"We're puzzled by why governments would ban access to Facebook," said Kelly, based at its corporate headquarters in Palo Alto, California, who was in Toronto on business unrelated to the ban.

"We're concerned about this because we think it's taking a tool away from users, a very powerful tool," he said, noting Facebook has made "preliminary contact" with Ontario officials to rectify the situation.

"We hope that the usefulness of the tool shines through."


I really hope that companies don't start feeling that they can strong-arm employers into allowing employees access to their sites. This isn't political. It's just good business policy. In my opinion, most of the Internet should be banned from use by employers, my own site included. The Internet is a huge productivity killer, and unless there's a specific reason you need to access a site from work, I hardly think people are in a position to challenge these sorts of policies. People might not like it, but you can't argue that it's good for business.

Of course, killing morale isn't necessarily a good business move either, so there's probably a fine line out there that I'm in no way ready to start defining.

Just suffice it to say that I think Mr. Kelly should mind his business and not try to push his nose into other businesses policies.

Ultimately, in a few months there will be another huge fad site sweeping the Internet, and that one should be banned to. Just because they don't want to be, doesn't mean they shouldn't be.

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Fire at DeLonghi. I Bet I Know the Cause. 
Looks like the plant burned down that makes DeLonghi appliances in Italy.

The cause of the fire is apparently not known, but I'm going to chime in and suggest maybe someone left one of their programmable coffeemakers plugged in and it randomly turned itself on in the middle of the night and set itself ablaze.

We had one of those. Complete piece of garbage. Serves them right. Better their house than mine.

Hopefully they have another one nearby filled with water. Surely it'll leak enough to put out the fire caused by the first one.



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Car Stuff Should Involve People Who Know Cars 
This blog hasn't been abandoned. I just haven't had much to bitch about lately.

I've generally been in a great mood as my wife and I are waiting on a new car to show up.

Of course, on that topic, the government has just introduced a new plan to give rebates on what they deem to be energy efficient vehicles and a levy on those that are very much not.

This is all well and good in theory, but they've done such a piss poor implementation that it just saddens me to read about it.

I've been happy with Stephen Harper's Conservative government all this time and didn't really expect this sort of bonehead move out of them.

As it stands, they've taken pretty much everything on the road (except pickup trucks, which are exempt because businesses need them) and they've divided them all up into two groups. Cars, and trucks.

Then they gave some target mileage figures that they had to meet in order to pay levies or get rebates.

I'd just love to find the person who decided that all vehicles fit conveniently into those to categories and just smack them upside the head.

As if to prove just how stupid it is, they've even gone and put the same car into BOTH categories!

If you buy a Dodge Caliber, then it's just a car with mediocre fuel mileage.

If, however, DCX puts a Jeep badge on your Caliber, then you've just bought a Jeep Compass and it's a truck with great fuel mileage and you get a grand back from the government.

It's just plain stupid.

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Don't Trust the Energy Retailers! 
I found this amusing.

The CEO of one of North America's largest energy retailers has this to say about the price of electricity.

Taken from here: http://www.thestar.com/Business/article/191105

King has long argued that Ontario electricity prices are too artificially low and that conservation campaigns will have limited success unless users of electricity start to pay its true market value. It also constrains the growth of distributed generation, including renewables such as solar and geothermal. "If centralized generation (such as coal, nuclear and natural gas) continues to be subsidized, it's very difficult to make those distributed generation products competitive and compelling for households."


Now consider what his company does. His company charges users a fixed rate that is higher than the going market rate for power. They lock their customers into this higher rate for terms of several years based on powerful threats that the price of power is going to go through the roof and they will not be able to afford it.

Until now, it's my understanding that this has always been a losing proposition and that the market rate for power has always been lower than what people pay with these retailer contracts. If that is incorrect, some please cite a contradicting source.

Now consider what would happen if this guy were to be taken seriously on this.

If the price of power were to rise, like he wants it to, he would finally after all these years be able to claim that clients of the energy retailers had actually saved some money. Then they'd be able to sign up countless more suckers for these plans, showing that someone had actually benefitted in some way.

For him to position himself as an environmentalist is laughable. What he is, is a scam artist and this is just another ploy in his scheme to cheat people out of their money.

Allegedly.


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