Monday, March 31, 2008

Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

The great, wide-open state of Maine lies just to the south and west of us in PEI. We can get down to Bangor, home of the Bangor Mall, home of Uno's Chicago Grill, home of the Uno's Deep-Dish Pizza, in 8 hours.

The 2007-08 snow season in northern Maine smashed the old record (of 181.1) inches set in 1955. Caribou has now recorded 182.5 inches of snow this season.

Back in 1955, snow was just snow and lots of snow had a name: it was called "winter".

Now, it's "climate change", and it's a calamity.

And that's the way the snow-covered Ball bounces.


That's the sound of income tax forms being filled in by this taxed-to-the-max Canadian. I just discovered that "I may be subject to Alternative Minimum Tax".

Oh, joy.

And, no, this does not mean that the government has come up with a lower tax rate for me. It means, that it didn't like the number it came up with the first time, so it's going to try again. "Alternative Minimum" means the minimum the government can live with out of me for the next 12 months.

So now I get to fill out form T691 !!!

I'm boldly going where I've never gone before; I'm indicating whether I have capital cost allowance and carrying charges claimed on certified film property acquired before March 1996 etc. etc. And I do mean etc. etc. I think the film property thing is asking me if I developed any rolls of film at WalMart prior to March 1996. That's so long ago, I can't even remember if I had a camera then. Prior to 1996. That's a full twelve years ago. The federal government gets ahold of something and it just will not let it go.

In another part of the QuickTax universe I come across a "partial list" of possible deuctions. Are you ready for this? Here we go:

Abatement - Refundable Québec

Acoustic coupler (Line 330 - Medical expenses)

Adoption expenses

Adult basic education tuition assistance

Advertising and promotion (commission)

Air conditioner (Line 330 - Medical expenses)

Air filter, cleaner or purifier (Line 330 - Medical expenses)

Alberta - Provincial tax

Alimony payments made

Allowable amount of medical expenses for other dependants

Allowable business investment loss (ABIL)


Amount for an eligible dependant

Amount for children born in 1990 or later

Amount for infirm dependants age 18 or older

Amounts transferred from your spouse or common-law partner

Amount transferred from a child - Tuition and education

Amount transferred from a dependant - Disability

Animals (Line 330 - Medical expenses )

Annual union, professional, or like dues

Armed Forces and police deductions

Artificial eye

Artificial limbs

Artistic activities

Attendant care expenses

Audible signal (Line 330 - Medical expenses)

Aunt - Amount for infirm dependants age 18 or older

Aunt - Disability amount transferred from a dependant

And that's just the "A"s!


A number of years ago populist politician Preston Manning suggested a simplified Income Tax form for the Liberals:

Line A: How much money did you make? __________________

Send it in!

I'll feel better when this is over.

And that's the way the tax-time Ball bounces.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Friday, March 28, 2008

It Is More Blessed To Give Than Receive

Feeling that you've missed out on the economy?

1. There are schools available. No charge through grade 12. Subsidies available for further education/training.

2. Libraries are also free.

3. 80% of life is "showing up".

4. Contrary to popular belief, the world does not revolve around you.

5. Stop thinking about your rights and instead think about your responsibilities -- see (3) above.

6. Stop thinking about yourself, and start thinking about others -- their goals, aspirations, dreams, feelings, expectations.

7. Stop thinking "instant gratification" and instead think "deferred gratification". Take steps now that will benefit you down the road.

8. Stop thinking "how can I get?", and instead think "how can I give?".

9. Stop thinking you are poor. If you have "free" healthcare, and a "free" education, even if you don't have a dime to your name, you are wealthier than many if not most people on the planet.

10. Remember, it is more blessed to give than receive; and if you give, it shall be given unto you. Life is about responsibilities, and "showing up", not about rights and entitlements. No one has been dealt a perfect hand in life, but those who get on with it are the ones who come out winners.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Pet Peeve: Canada's T3 Income Slip

Yes, boys and girls, it's Tax Time in Canada!

Nothing quickens the pulse of a vigorous Canadian more than this.

Not Spring, not the Stanley Cup play-offs, not even Roll-Up-The-Rim. Yeah, tax-time!

My pet peeve today is Revenue Canada's, excuse me, the Canada Revenue Agency's, T3 form.

Here's the order in which the boxes appear on the actual form: 24 - 25 -26 - 13 - 18 - 10 - 11 -12 -21 -22 -23

Here's the order in which QuickTax processes them: 25 - 18 - 19 - 15 - 11 -13 - 14 -20 - 16

If you click on the QuickTax "Other Boxes" tab, a bonus box appears - box 17 !!!

The first box that appears on my T3 slip is box 24. Where do I put it?

Guess what?

According to QuickTax, "Boxes 24, 26, 10 and 12 do not need to be entered."

On my slip, all of these boxes have values in them. Not needed. Most of the other boxes have nothing.

Then why do we have them?!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Pardon Me If I Misspoke My Misstatement

"I say a lot of things -- millions of words a day -- so if I misspoke, that was just a misstatement.''

The above is Hillary Clinton's quoted response to being found out exaggerating her account of a trip to Bosnia 10 years or so ago -- sniper fire, running for cover, and all that.

Millions of words a day?

Let's analyze that.

There are 24*60*60 = 86,400 seconds in a day. To speak millions of words a day, Hillary would have to speak, at a minimum, 2,000,000/86,400 = 23.15 words per second, for every second in every minute in every hour in a day.

I wonder how many numerically-challenged reporters and analysts picked up on this?

Saturday, March 22, 2008

This is the Day the Lord Has Made - Easter 2008

We're just back from the late-night Saturday evening Easter vigil at St. Peter's Cathedral, so we've got a jump on things.

I don't want to give away the plot, so I'll just say things didn't turn out the way most people expected.

The women in our group are quite insistent about some startling claims.

Peter's lacing up his sandals and high-tailing it up to Galilee, where he's going to await further instructions.

We expect by Monday the High-Priest and religious authorities will be in full-fledged damage control.

And Judas, nobody's heard from him for a day or so. We're looking into rumors.

For the anti-God, anti-Jesus, anti-faith forces, this is an absolute disaster.

I can say no more.

Go to church. Find out for yourself.

He is _____ !

And that's the way the resurrected Ball bounces.

The Death of God - Musings on the Saturday of the Church Expectant

Yesterday represented the complete and utter triumph of man against God.

The messenger of God, along with his thorny message, is dead.

Today we bask in our triumph. God sent His Son and we killed Him!

Jesus words won't torment us any more!

We will soon forget him. Sure, he healed a lot of people, but we didn't kill him for that. We killed him because he, by his words and actions, condemned us. If we had allowed him to continue, he would have de-throned us. Wounded our pride and self-esteem. Threatened our sovereignty and independence.

But we took things into our own hands and put nails in his. And our nails were stronger than his fleshy hands!

We proved that man, in unity with a rebellious cosmos, is more powerful than God!

In time, this man Jesus will fade into a distant memory.

A hundred years from now, no-one will even remember he existed.

And we can go back to doing the things we love to do.

With God out of the way, nothing can stop us now....

Why do I hear the sound of a ticking clock in my ears?

And what is that sound of a distant rumble?

Friday, March 21, 2008

Why I Call This Friday Good

He was wounded for my transgressions.

He was bruised for my iniquities.

His self-giving astonishes me.

That is why I worship him.

And, when I try to be more righteous, more like him, and fail, I hear him say to me, "I am the way".

I lean on the one who on this day hung on a cross.

For me.

Separation of Church and State in the US

The ACLU behaves like secular fundamentalists wishing to clear-cut America of deeply entrenched cultural symbols and practices.

The US Constitution does not dictate a rigid separation of Church and State as commonly supposed; it prevents the establishment of a federal State religion, such as Anglicanism in England, which was, and is, the official state religion -- with the Prime Minister appointing bishops, etc.

As far as I know, there is nothing in the Constitution that would prevent a State (or a city for that matter) from declaring a particular religion as its official religion; the prohibition is just at the federal level.

Furthermore, the idea that views rooted in religious beliefs and values have no place in the development of government policy and laws (for example, abortion) is just wishful thinking on the part of secular fundamentalists. Tragically, this notion has been widely accepted in Canada where persons of religious belief are effectively shut out of public life and discourse, and where courts have actually ruled that the religious beliefs of parents cannot be taken into account when considering public school policies (such as indoctrinating children in homosexuality from kindergarten on).

As for the ACLU and its goal of stripping America of religious symbols and practices in public life, I believe it is mistaken. It is one thing for a government to reflect the cultural symbols and practices of an established and deeply entrenched religion; it is quite another for the government to establish this religion as the official religion of the State.

US Christianity is a broad cultural phenomenon, and having the 10 Commandments in a court house, or a Cross in a government-funded war memorial reflects nothing more than broad cultural realities, and does not represent the official sanction of a specific faith, e.g., Presbyterianism or Roman Catholicism; nor does it coerce individual citizens in any way to participate in a specific religion.

I read recently that in NYC schools, the Menorah is OK and the Muslim Crescent is OK, but a Nativity Scene is not.

For an article about the ACLU seeking to ban the cross in a public, government-funded place, go to

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The IPCC Weighs in On Clouds

Climate-alarmists have been getting a little testy by all the bad press this year's cold winter is bringing. Turns out their modeling really doesn't factor-in clouds.


Aren't they a pretty important part of the overall weather/climate equation?

Perhaps in response to this, the scientists of the IPCC have just released the following scientific bulletin.

Visual cue: imagine "We Are The World":

Rows and flows of angel hair,
And ice cream castles in the air,
And feather canyons everywhere,
We've looked at clouds that way.

But now they only block the Sun,
They rain and snow on everyone.
So many things we would have done,
But clouds got in our way.

We've looked at clouds from both sides now,
From up and down, and still somehow,
It's cloud illusions we recall,
We really don't know clouds, at all.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I Remember That Pizza Well!

I'm going through my receipts as part of my annual Income Tax ritual. Right now, I'm working through the receipts for last year's missions trip to Zambia.

When I get done with these, I'll plow into this year's trip.

I'm holding in my hand a receipt for an Ask Pizza & Pasta, 74 Southampton Row, London.

I don't recall the exact pizza I ordered, but I do remember the circumstances. I had just fought hard to get into London with my luggage. I was checked into my hotel. And I was treating myself to an evening meal. (Who can tell if I was "due" to eat or not -- with jet-lag it's hard to figure.)

I waited at the restaurant while they made my 5.25 GBP pizza, and then took it back to my hotel room.

Where I enjoyed it immensely!

It's funny how receipts can trigger memories.

And that's the way the pepperoni Ball bounces.

Global Warming Analysis: Fact vs. Interpretation

A good lens for analyzing the global warming narrative is fact vs. interpretation. Consider the following article, and try to sift through fact vs. interpretation.

What snow? This year could be one of the warmest on record
Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent, Reuters
Published: Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Reuters © 2008

FACT: ... the start of 2008 saw icy weather around the world from China to Greece.

INTERPRETATION/CONJECTURE: But despite its chilly start, 2008 is expected to end up among the top 10 warmest years since records began in the 1860s.

FACT: "So far 2008, for the globe, has been quite cold, only just above the 1961-90 average," said Phil Jones, head of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia which supplies global temperature data to the United Nations.

INTERPRETATION/CONJECTURE: And an underlying warming trend, blamed by the U.N. Climate Panel on human use of fossil fuels, is likely to reassert itself after the end of a La Nina cooling of the Pacific in the coming months. There were similar conditions in 1998 and 2005, the hottest so far, Jones said.

FACT: China suffered its worst snowstorms in a century in January and February. At least 80 people died and the government estimated costs at more than 150 billion yuan (US$21 billion), including animal deaths and crop losses.

FACT: Sandstorms hit Beijing on Tuesday and residents rushed to hide from the dust mixed with petals from the city's magnolia trees.

FACT: During the northern winter, snows also fell in unusual places such as Greece, Iraq and Florida. Experts say climate change will bring more swings as part of a warming that will bring more droughts, floods, heatwaves and rising seas.

FACT: U.S. ski resorts reported above average snowfall.

COUNTER-FACT: But not all places have been chilly -- Jones said western and northern Europe were the warmest parts of the northern hemisphere in the first two months of 2008. [What does this mean -- "less cold"?]

COUNTER-FACT: NASA satellite data this week showed the thickest and oldest ice around the North Pole has been disappearing.

COUNTER-FACT: Finland had its warmest winter on record. High-speed ferries between Helsinki and Tallinn in Estonia, normally halted for months by winter ice on the Baltic Sea, started earlier than ever in mid-March.

COUNTER-FACT: In Norway, many ski resorts have deep snow even though the winter has been the third warmest on record -- scientists say a spinoff of climate change may be more precipitation.

INCONVENIENT FACT: Electricity prices in the Nordic region halved this month to 27.5 euros (US$43.48) per megawatt hour from late 2007 highs because hydropower reservoirs were full and warm temperatures curbed heating demand.

When it's warming, the facts speak for themselves; when it's cooling, the facts require interpretation.

"If It's Getting Cooler, the Warming is Slowing"

Any religion worth it salt has a decent measure of mystery. Consider Christianity. Anyone who pretends to comprehend either the Trinity or the Incarnation is deluded.

So, it's reassuring to see that the secular religion of Anthropogenic Global Warming is no different. Add to the certainty of the science mysterious global warming mysteries.

Consider the following article from NPR (National Public Radio) in the US:

"The Mystery of Global Warming's Missing Heat" by Richard Harris [Sounds like an old Hardy Boys - "The Mystery of the Missing Heat"]

"There has been a very slight cooling [of the oceans], but not anything really significant," Willis says. "....And it may be that we are in a period of less rapid warming."

[Notice that, in the interpretation of the data, slight cooling = less rapid warming. Is there any chance at all that a slight warming would be interpreted as less rapid cooling?]

"But in fact there's a little bit of a mystery. We can't account for all of the sea level increase we've seen over the last three or four years," he says. "One possibility is that the sea has, in fact, warmed and expanded — and scientists are somehow misinterpreting the data from the diving buoys."

[Notice that the bias is to believe the sea is still warming even when the evidence points in another direction.]

Then, they go on to blame the clouds:

"Unfortunately, we don't have adequate tracking of clouds to determine exactly what role they've been playing during this period," Trenberth says.

Oh-oh. The environmentalists want to control our lives, and there's a critical dimension that their modelling doesn't cover?! Are they Joni Mitchell fans? Have they looked at clouds from both sides now, and yet concluded they really don't know clouds at all?

"It's also possible that some of the heat has gone even deeper into the ocean, he says. Or it's possible that scientists need to correct for some other feature of the planet they don't know about."

[Scientists "correcting" the data. Do we have any idea how much of the current "facts" of global warming are based on scientists "correcting" the data to fit their assumptions?]

"Trenberth and Willis agree that a few mild years have no effect on the long-term trend of global warming."

Remember -- if it's getting cooler, it's weather; if it's getting warmer, it's climate change.

To this maxim, we can now add another, "if it's getting cooler, the warming is slowing".]

Beaten to a Pulp or Nurtured Back to Health?

Over at SDA (smalldeadanimals), Kate has linked to an article about a man who attempted to knock down a power line and ended up getting damaged in the process.

Having just returned from Africa, this made me think of how this man was treated versus how he might be treated in other cultures. I am told that in Africa if someone is caught stealing he is quite likely to receive a beating from the village before being handed over to the police who will likely administer another thrashing. For a murderer who escapes justice from the law, he faces justice from the tribe, which can be just as fatal.

In other cultures, a man like this would likely have been beaten to a pulp or left to die. In our Christianized culture he will be nurtured and restored to health in spite of his anti-social act. Even though Canada has turned away from God, and America shows a similar secularizing bent, we both are still fairly drenched in the elevating effects of the Christian faith.

Even the secularized liberal left owes a great debt to the Christianity it so openly despises.

To check out the article, go to:

Have a blessed day.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Examine My Pulse, My Urine, My Stool...

Er, not mine, the Dali Lama's.

"They can examine my pulse, my urine, my stool, everything", he reportedly said, in response to authorities' claims that he was inciting violence in Tibet.

I suspect his speech must lose (or gain) something in the translation.

I think he's saying he's an open book and has nothing to hide.

For some reason, I prefer the British/English way of putting it.

And that's the way the Open Book bounces.

QOTD (Quote of the Day): Marshall McLuhan

This from an NP article by Robert Fulford: “Politics offers yesterday’s answers to today’s questions.”

Official bilingualism, anyone?

* * *

Canada's official bilingualism (French/English) seems increasingly irrelevant in today's English-centric, multicultural world. If Toronto were to be bilingual, it might, arguably, be English-Chinese rather than English-French. Ditto for Vancouver.

If you go around the world, the lingua franca that is spoken throughout, from east to west and from north to south, in airports and hotels, is English.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

We Are In A Climate Death Spiral !!!

I think this is a much better alarmist article than the one I cited in the previous post.

"the polar ice cap has shrunk by almost a third ...".

"the cap has shrunk by an area about seven times larger than the UK."

"the cap has shrunk to about half the size it was then (60s and 70s)".

Shrinking ice cover shows we are in "a spiral of decline".

Now that's alarmism! All he needs to do now if throw in some anecdotal information about floods, droughts and heatwaves in divers places, and, presto!, you've got yourself Apocalyptic Anthropogenic Global Warming (AAGW)!

“If you look at the floods we had this summer, the drought they are currently having in Australia and the heatwave of 2003 it’s another climate extreme."

“This event, plus others reported in recent years, puts the fact that man is responsible for changing the atmosphere beyond reasonable doubt."

Except it doesn't. The conclusion does not necessarily follow. It's also consistent with what we would see if the climate was simply changing due to natural causes.

As it has done since the world began.

And that's the way the Ball bounces.

Those Madcap Ice Caps Crack Me Up

The ice caps are melting.

It doesn't take long into a read to see that the person who wrote it really wasn't thinking. Consider this from the BBC website:

"The rate at which some of the world's glaciers are melting has more than doubled, data from the United Nations Environment Programme has shown. Average glacial shrinkage has risen from 30 centimetres per year between 1980 and 1999, to 1.5 metres in 2006."

Pause. Stop. Think.

There are how many centimetres in a metre? I'm guessing 100. Average global shrinkage used to be 30 centimeters per year. That's 30% or .3 of a metre. In 2006 the shrinkage was reportedly 1.5 metres. That's 150 centimetres. If these measurements are accurate, then the difference between the 1980 - 1999 period and 2006 is not just "more than doubled", it's a full 5 times greater.

That's problem number one.

The second problem is that it is comparing a trend 1980 - 1999 with a single point year - 2006. What if 2006 was a spike year? I understand that in the past six months the glaciers have been growing again. Why does the data stop at 2006? Why isn't the fact that the glaciers are growing back included in the article?

The third problem is the weasel word "some", as in "some of the world's ice caps are melting". What does this mean? Are some of ice caps not melting? If so, why don't we hear about them?

The fourth problem is the alarmism. The usual alarmist narrative goes like this, "it's not too late, but we must act immediately". They never say, "it's too late", and they never say, "it's impossible to stop or correct". It's always possible, but it's going to take big bucks and relegation of control of people's lives to Big Environment. And it's gotta happen NOW.

Now, let's check the article:

"Dr Ian Willis, of the Scott Polar Research Institute, said: 'It is not too late to stop the shrinkage of these ice sheets but we need to take action immediately.'".

Immediately. Must - act - immediately.


Didn't act immediately. Finished reading the article. Delay of 5 minutes occurred.

Too late.

We're doomed.

And that's the way the Ball bounces.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Gay Porn Required Reading in Illinois School

An Illinois high school has made a novel featuring explicit homosexual sex required reading for its students.

This is the response of the media, so far:


As I have said before, homosexual behaviour is "merely" sinful; the ideology that today accompanies the practice of homosexuality, because it is false and enslaving, evil.

Apparently nothing short of the return of Christ who comes with a two-edged sword will staunch this evil flood. Western-funded homosexual rights has now hit Africa, and continued western aid is being tied to Africans getting with the homosexual rights program.

Monday, March 10, 2008

It's The "She" Part That Bothers Me

I'm reading about the Canadian accused of pederasty in Thailand. His current sexual partner is a Thai transvestite. So far, so good. What could be more natural in this age of all-encompassing sexual equality than for a pederast (don't forget, he didn't "choose" his sexual orientation) to hook-up with a transvestite? Transvestites, after all, are the new gays. We know this because liberal church leaders are getting "with it" and adding "transgendered" to their list of sexual equalities to be righteously promoted by the Church.

What bothers me is when the Reuters reporter refers to the Thai transvestite boyfriend as "she".

He is not she.

It is common for liberal, with-it persons to cater to males who would rather be thought of as females by referring to them as "she". But I think this is an offense to women. He is not a she. A male is never a woman, even if he submits to genital mutilation and reconstruction. He remains a neutered male.

Words matter. Reality matters. Male and Female. Created He Them. In His Image. For His Glory.

The devil likes nothing better than to mar the image of God in a human being.

And that's the way the Ball bounces.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

"Province seizes 9,780 cans of pop"

In this crazy, mixed-up world, it's nice to see that Prince Edward Island remains an oasis of sanity.

I'm beginning my re-entry process back to Canada from Africa. I thought I better check the Charlottetown Guardian for news of the Fair Isle.

The headline -- "Province seizes 9,780 cans of pop" -- reassured me that all is well.

The law is being enforced.

Undercover police (I kid you not!) investigated and caught the perp red-handed, er, blue-handed, er, whatever.

We can tolerate a lot of behaviours on PEI, but we draw the line at drinking pop in cans.

That's a bridge too far, even for easy-going Islanders.

And that's the way the confiscated Can bounces.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

QOTD (Quote of the Day): Kierkegaard

This from MCJ blog:

"Christian scholarship is the Church’s prodigious invention to defend itself against the Bible". - Søren Kierkegaard

You know what?

There's an element of truth to this.

The word of God is like a bowling ball rolling down the lane -- people better either get under it, or jump out of the way; otherwise, it's gonna knock 'em down.

"... nothing intellectually compelling or challenging.. bald assertions coupled to superstition... woefully pathetic"