Category Archives: Just say’n

Where’s the Money, Honey?

Don’t Blame Elizabeth Holmes, Marissa Mayer, and Tim Cook. Blame Their Boards. (E. Jay Saunders, Jul 24, 2016)

Theranos is crashing and burning, losing over 90% of its value, and its founder and CEO, Elizabeth Holmes, just got barred from owning or operating a medical laboratory for at least two years. Yahoo! is in the midst of a fire sale, and is desperately trying to sell off its core business. And Apple is down over 25% in market cap value (compared to 21st July 2015), despite having one of the largest cash piles in history and one of the most attractive capital return programs.

I know it’s heresy to lump Apple, the world’s most valuable company by market cap (US$546.26B as of 18th July 2016), with two companies that have no future as standalone entities. However, there is no denying that currently, Apple is significantly underachieving. And the problem facing Apple is the same problem that’s facing Theranos and Yahoo! – i.e. the reluctance of their boards to shake things up at the top, and that’s because all 3 boards are smitten by their CEOs.


And it is not just high profile companies that fall into this abyss. Home grown, citizen groups and charities can suffer from the same fate, losing tons of income and donations by the lack of a long-term plan for their project and the where with all to orchestrate and organize fund raising ventures that keep their supporters invested throughout the year.

While it is fantastic what small groups can raise in their communities, most projects are costly and at best could take 50 odd years to finish all the works planned using yard sales and once a year special events.

This is where those with the professional skills to ferret out the big bucks and good long-term planning come in. They can direct the group to the dollars and know the words to put down on paper to both attract and keep those types of investors interested.

A board of directors made up of well-known, respected community leaders, lawyers, businessmen and a philanthropist or two help immensely in this online world. Credible biographies put trust into an organization when seen online. We must all be aware that these days donations can come from half a world away if those targeted understand and support the group’s digital message.

Unfortunately like the organizations mentioned by Mr. Saunders, small community groups also often get less than value for the dollar by not taking advantage of all the help available. It is all well and good to ‘love’ your leader, even respect him but to do so at the expense of your goals is pure and utter folly. Sometimes you have to spend money to make money and that is not a crime just smart  management.

Looking to the future – short and long range, is the only way to survive these days when competing interests are always looking to snag the moneys available from the same stakeholder groups.

We should all take heed and learn the lesson from big corporations that are today starting to suffer from their fear of ‘shaking things up.”

Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep, Losing Weight Is What I Seek

Absolutely amazed at the research on sleep and how it was shown on the TV show, The Nature of Things, that getting 5 hours of sleep instead of 9 under research conditions (being able to eat as much as they want)

caused the participants to gain 20 kilograms in 5 days!

Apparently most of the eating was done after supper and made their days filled with 4 daily meals instead of three.

In cases such as this diet won’t help because it is sleep that is needed.

Sleep deprivation apparently disrupts the two hormones that regulate hunger, ghrelin (which signals hunger and tells you to eat) and leptin (which signals you are full and to stop eating.) Your body sends the signals but due to lack of sleep the signals are never received.

OH PLEASE RNC . . . Let’s Do It ALL On National T.V.

Walking the dog job is still up for grabs…

If the Donald ever got elected it seems he knows his own limits and is busy farming out the running of America to others. That somehow should make people feel better, no?

What I want to know is who takes the black box, atomic/nuclear football, home at night and who is in charge of cleaning up after the dog?

And the highlights of the convention’s 3rd prime time evening festivities were the “Hair” Fuhrer salute and Senator Cruz’s ‘surprising’, non-allegiance, thumb-nose speech in favour of “conscience” voting.

You can’t make this stuff up…




I wanted to write something lighthearted and funny about the Republican National Convention – but the RNC beat me to it.

Well them and the guy who just said it was amazing, that being as anti-LGBT as the GOP is, that they could “appropriate” Freddy Mercury and Queens’ song “We are the Champions” – again.

However, as we all saw –  again, against the wishes of the band itself, there they were with BOZo, ummm “The” Donald Trump, rising from the smoke and ashes of the Republican Party to center stage  rocking to Queen’s anthem.

To the writer who commented: “Let me guess. Mrs. Trump actually wrote it.” Kudos.

Best line of the RNC so far!

Okay and just in case you need a reminder of what not to take to this party, the following are verboten: stoves; any and all projectile launchers; your sword, saber, hatchet, or axe.

And put your cestus (ancient battle gloves) back in the dresser drawer because they are NOT allowed on site either. But cowboys, police worries aside, get out your guns and wear them proudly.

Now you CAN also bring fresh white bread, which deforms elastically, but no biscuits, or crackers because they are considered to be “frangible” material. Yes. Really!

Canned goods and tennis balls are Not allowed. However baseballs seem to have made the cut <g> since they aren’t listed as prohibited items.

And don’t get me started on Melania Trump’s use of Michele Obama’s speech from 2008. Although I don’t condone plagiarism I do think in this case she showed she is capable of recognizing the ‘best’  {drum roll} in something.

And the week has just begun… Stay tuned!


NOTE: Larry Harmon, (same hair as … DT… No??) the entrepreneur who brought Bozo the Clown to television as a children’s show host in the late 1950s and spent the next 50 years promoting the flame-haired circus character, died Thursday, July 4th, 2008. He was 83.


Some people write and expect to make a living doing so. Me, I’m the other kind.

I have never considered that I would make money with my words. It is a kind of therapy for me. I write when I’m happy and want to share. I write when I am angry and also want an audience with whom to communicate my frustrations and angst. I write when I am overcome with sadness and when the world just doesn’t get it.

I write to unburden my soul, but most of all, I write to explain me, to myself and to others.

Today is Canada Day, 2016. Canada became a kingdom in its own right on July 1st, 1867. Communities across this great country host events today to celebrate living in the greatest country on earth (IMHO).

Canada Day also signifies the beginning of the summer to many. School’s out. Family vacations and day trips to the beach on the agenda of many. Hot summer days swimming and long, cool nights reading and recharging after a busy school/work year. Time to play and relax.

This Canada Day also brings back memories of my sister Dale who passed away in October of 2013. She was a twin and four years younger than I. She left us at way too young an age.

Dale hated the heat, really hated it, but loved the summer holidays because it freed up the time her grandchildren had to spend with her. Many was the time we arrived to play cards at her home to find the central air on full blast. Olivia, her second grand daughter, was in the kitchen finishing up the baking of one delicious treat, or another, to assure that we card sharks did not succumb to ‘death-by- thinness’. Believe me that would never happen (LOL). However I digress.

This July Olivia is facing a medical emergency of her own. Now I’m convinced Olivia will be fine and in a couple of weeks we will all look back at this time and be glad it is over. I’m also sure that her grandmother has been looking down from heaven, sitting in her chair with all the family’s passed pets, lying at her feet, or draped over her arms, neck and lap, watching over her as every good guardian angel would do.

So when I think of Canada Day this year I think of our many blessings which belong to us who proudly call ourselves Canadians. Eh? Be proud, be strong and be patriotic on this our special day – July 1st, 2016…

The Power of Voodoo … Who do? … You do

So it appears that whether you think of regional council as a labyrinth, or an oubliette, it can indeed function as both…and for all intents and purposes does explicitly… ad infinitum… on a regular basis…

You remind me of the babe…♫♪

Try being a citizen asking a direct question in Niagara today…

The citizens at the May 19th meeting asked for an audit of the NPCA…not a value for money discussion of their operations and not to just be put on another committee’s agenda to decide whether, or not, to proceed.

Maybe that’s the problem. English and communication.

What babe? The babe with the power…♫♪

Once all hell broke loose with councilors accusing the delegation of engaging in “misinformation,” borderline “libelous comments” and a “smear campaign”, no one was really focusing on the issue, question or motion for that matter.


What power? The power of voodoo…♫♪

The bottom line is citizens want to know what is needed to get an experimental idea supported on lands protected by law in the Province of Ontario. We don’t need to investigate whether we are getting value for money spent. We actually already have views on this subject.

What we need to find out is who we have to ‘know’ to get such a project through the system?

Or am I wrong? Are there a set of protocols, based on real scientific studies, undertaken by experts, which in turn support allowing experimental processes to be tried in wetlands? Or, is this just a case of political will, pure and simple?

Who do? You do…♫♪

And THAT is what we want an audit to investigate…



Through The Looking Glass

Lately I feel like I’m Alice and I just fell into the Rabbit’s hole. Didn’t know it was in Niagara but, I digress…

The perpetual Tea Party is taking place with an insane Mad Hatter shaking his fist, while the March Hare and all the White Kings are sitting at the table nodding their collective heads all the while making rude comments staggered with their innate clumsiness, silliness and stupidity.

The rest of the region slowly goes to hell in a hand basket. Sound familiar?

Does no one understand the principle of not leaving FOXES in charge of the Chicken Coop? Or as I like to refer to it … a Conflict of Interest?

Seems to me if you belong to a group whose actions lead to a vote for a review to be conducted by an unbiased party then you and your cronies should NOT be allowed to vote on whether it is required. 

The way I see it … Me? I’d vote that I did an admirable job and that there is no need for anyone to scrutinize my work. I’d be the fool not to….

AHEM… Now look at the details of the ‘vote’ taken last week at Regional Council…

Below are lists of Councillors who voted  ‘NO” for a review of the work/decisions of the NPCA.  You decide whether you think they had a Conflict of Interest (perceived or otherwise) and should not have been allowed to vote…

a) Niagara Falls reps. 4 out of 4 against a review that could hinder a project in N.F., surprise, surprise!





b) Mayors, all of whom sit on the NPCA and so have a conflict of interest?

Campion, Welland

Darte, N-o-t-L

Diodati, N.F.

Joyner, W. L.

Kenny, for Mayor, Pt. Col.

c) The rest of NPCA Committee members also voted ‘NO’

Anunziata, Ft. Erie

Campion, Welland

Darte, N-o-t-L

Diodati, N.F.

Joyner, W.L.

Kenny, Pt. Col.

Quirk, Grimsby

Timms, St. Catharines (CHAIR)

And (drum roll…) the ONLY person not a NPCA committee member, Mayor, and/or from Niagara Falls who voted ‘NO’… to an outside review

Petrowski, St. Catharines

Now the vote was won by a margin of one vote so a review will take place but this type of voting should never have taken place the way it did and needs to be righted. Maybe the Municipal Act has some rules?


And last we heard Tweedledum and Tweedledee were seen arguing in the parking lot grinning a lot, yelling out rude expletives, and generally being mischievous, and sometimes even violent as boys often can be.


    The Lion and the Unicorn fight over a crown, then eat white and brown bread and plum-cake,then get drummed out of town.



Throwing Out the Baby with the Bath Water . . .

Once upon a time, back, way back in the early 80’s I attended a liberal leadership convention. What I saw and experienced colored my views of some of the people carrying the banner for parties at that level of government.

I began excited to be a part of history. After sitting in a meeting listening to backroom talk that was dividing up the potential spoils, if they won. I left. Gone was my naivety. I did not stay for the final vote and never attended another convention like that again.

I do believe that this occurs in all parties too. It is inherent in playing the game of politics. No system is without these problems. And even with this experience lodged firmly in my mind’s eye, I can see that our system is much better than most. To thank our lucky stars all we need do is check out the mess south of the border.

However I digress.

Now I had never been a ‘provincial’ liberal and unfortunately there is, in my humble opinion a distinct difference. Oh don’t get me wrong. There are the shining lights – people who wear their integrity and altruistic desire to be the best politician possible firmly attached to their jackets. Jim Bradley comes immediately to mind. Everything politicians like him have done in their tenure as  representatives of their constituents proves this. But many do not.

In my limited experience I have found many of these types of people in the political world at all levels, municipal, regional, even school boards. Somehow they seem to have forgotten that being elected to ‘represent’ us means something to some of us long after the election is over.

We expect these people to do their jobs and to advocate for our diverse interests. And they are many. Many people welcome investment that will foster a healthy economy. However many do not believe that selling off necessary services like hydro and water, or heaven forbid, sewage treatment facilities to private, profit making, bottom line conglomerates, will bode well for the future of our people and province.

The same goes for our natural lands heritage. Some people rightly are questioning “Why are we STILL protesting these issues after laws and safety protectorates were put in place years ago!”

Did we not actually win those battles – once upon a time??

Well of course the answer is “Yes we did.” However those who lost the battles are still around and now ready for round 2. This time though they just figured they’d by-pass the pesky  and worrisome tree huggers, environmentalists and now their grandchildren as well, and just go to China, eat some Chinese food and sell our birthright as a tip….

And they really thought no one would notice – or care?

I remain a card carrying federal liberal for a number of reasons. The most important reason to me is that baby and bathwaterJustin Trudeau and his federal party have and continue to listen to ‘the people’…And THAT is what true representative democracy is supposed to be, isn’t it?

I will never again commit to the provincial party and suggest that our provincial leaders and regional counterparts need to take a refresher course in what representative government is supposed to be before they literally and figuratively give away the baby and the bath water !



The “WRONG” in our system . . .

When the Jian Ghomeshi trial ended there were many who were outraged at the verdict. I was not one of them. I had preferred not to read transcripts of the trial, nor did I follow the nightly news, or the online discussions. l  just knew how it would all pan out. Unfortunately I was not surprised, nor proven wrong.

However when other women began to lambast the victims I did respond.

I stated that in my opinion as a survivor of CSA that those trying these cases or investigating allegations as well as judges and lawyers alike needed to have actually been victims before they could understand the psychology with which they were dealing. Many attacked me because of this opinion stating that if only the victims had told the ‘truth’ all would have ended differently.

I do not believe that to be the case.

The attached articles explain what is really needed. Please read on.

If Churches Were Frat Houses: Title IX Compliance and Clergy Sexual Abuse



The Fox, three chickens and a Horse

Once upon a time there was a Fox, three hens and a Horse.

Now the Horse sometimes appeared to be a bit shy and laid back. However he was strong of character and everyone trusted his judgement and quiet effective ways.

Between the five of them they were the committee who provided the safeguards for the barnyard. They saw to any problems and made decisions that affected each and every one of the barnyard animals.


One day they needed to decide the fate of the chicken coop. Now one would have thought that there might be a teeny conflict of interest when it came to three chickens deciding their own fate as it were. But nope. The Fox declared he knew best and the chickens decided to go along with him because, well, because he was the boss. Right? His word was law? Hmmm. Not the way it was supposed to work but hey, it was precedent and it had worked before.

The Horse didn’t get a vote since he was out in the pasture when the issue came up.

Oh there had been discussion in the barnyard though. It went so far as being suggested there should be a ‘board of directors’ established to over-see the whole farm yard and all its particular interests.

Anyway those concerned put forward a cow, duck, rooster, a couple of sheep and even an alpaca as potential ‘directors’. Many were older and had been a part of the community for many generations and it was argued that they could bring this experience to play for the benefit of all.

Nope. The Fox said he knew what was best for the chicken coop …

Next day the coop was removed and the chickens sent to market… The Horse cried…”NEIGHhhh…” but it was too late.

And the moral of our story is that in life you should never allow “the fox and a committee of submissive chickens to guard the hen house”.

It can be perceived as a conflict of interest which can come back to bite you on the horse’s ass.

. . . and IMHO the more eyes the better.fox1