Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Je me souviens is the provincial slogan of Quebec. 

Quebec is the second largest province in Canada and accounts for one fourth of Canada’s population. It is the only province to have French as its official language. 

Since the 1960s Quebec has gained little bits of sovereignty such as: they are the only province to collect their own income taxes, they run their own welfare program, and they have their own pension fund.

Quebec’s sovereignty or independence is basically the idea of Quebec being its own country separate from Canada. You may be thinking that this idea is ridiculous, but the possibility of Quebec becoming its own separate nation is quite real. Over the last 50 years there have been a number of three provincial polls asking this question. Over 40 percent of Quebecois voted yes to independence with the majority of yes voters being in southern Quebec. The majority of no voters centre in the northeast.

This question has dodged federal politicians for 128 years. What does Quebec want? According to Quebecois they want to be “maitre chez nous” which roughly translates into “masters of our own house,” they have been paying rent for many years and now want to buy the house.

But the real question here is, why would anyone want to leave Canada? 

Canada is one of the most peaceful countries on earth; it is renowned for its educational system and free healthcare. From what I understand the only reason they want to leave is because of the language barrier. What I learned is that Canada as a nation is united by the difference and diversity of our many people. What would Canada be like if we were all the same? 

And besides, if Quebec really did separate who would get a passport? Would they join the UN? Or would they even be able to? And what about the tiny maritime provinces? Just separated from the rest of the country? There are many questions left unanswered. 

Parti Quebecois assures the citizens that these questions are unimportant. And the real goal is just to achieve separation.

For the first time in over a hundred years the map of North America will have to be rewritten and all the globes and maps will become obsolete costing these companies which produce those millions.

What kind of example will we be setting for other countries who are striving for separation or independence such as Hong Kong, Scotland, Tibet, and Macau. If a nation as strong and united as Canada can split why can’t they?

According to other provinces, but mostly in the west, Quebec is already very independent, and treated uniquely and differently than other provinces. They think that Quebec is already a nation inside a nation. But at the same time think that Quebec should be treated equally with the other provinces.

To really understand the Quebecois’ plea, we have to first take a look at the history of Quebec. Quebec was the result of the British winning over the French in the Seven Years’ War. In Quebec this war is referred to as “The War of Conquest.” However, instead of making the Quebecois Anglophones and implementing the Anglican Church, they made Quebec special. Quebec was allowed to speak French, keep the Catholic Church and schools, and using the Napoleonic Law instead of British Law. This was mainly because they did not want the Quebecois to side with the rebellious 13 colonies. The result of Britain’s new found power over Quebec left France with very few colonies and marked the end of the French Colonial Empire leaving France with only a few territories mostly centered in the Caribbean. This left Quebec thinking that it was an accident of history, this is not the case.

Quebec is one of the most historically rich places in North America with a lot of tourism. They have a very significant culture similar to Europe. If you want to go visit a place that is similar to France just go visit St. Pierre and Miquelon.

Finally, for my final point, I would just like to say that Quebec should not leave Canada, even if it is different, because the differences unite us.

Besides, isn’t separation more of a Czechoslovakian thing?

Thursday, April 24, 2014


We were sitting in the car waiting for our son. The school bell had just rung and kids were walking out, some weary, some smiling, and some writhing from the heavy backpacks they carried on their backs. Our son wasn't even within hearing distance, but we could see him mouth the words, "Where are we going to eat?"

It was payday. We always went out for dinner on payday. There were an abundance of restaurants in our community. Bramalea was considered the new downtown. The food court at the City Center had a variety of fast food and interesting fare, Thai, Indian, Japanese, Chinese, Canadian. And there were many franchises and pubs to choose from. You could get burgers, chicken, noodles, sushi, fish, stir-fried veggies, then for dessert you could get frozen yogurt, Cinnabon buns, and gelato. 

Our son's favorite place to eat was Popeye's Louisiana's Fried Chicken, so he wanted to go there. But my partner and I were in the mood for something different. 

Across from Popeye's at 48 Peel Centre Drive was a restaurant that we occasionally noticed called FIVE GUYS BURGERS AND FRIES. We would see the sign from the street, Dixie and Queen, but we would never venture in, after all it was just another burger joint, or so we thought. I parked the car and while my boys went to Popeye's I mosied over to the joint.

The place was almost empty, except for a mother and her two kids chowing down on what looked like some juicy grub. 

I hadn't even made it to the counter when the cook behind the counter greeted me with an enormous smile.

"Hi, what can I get for you?" he asked, still smiling. Those teeth were so pearly white.

I glanced at the menu, very short and sweet, and ordered two Bacon Cheeseburgers. 

"How large is the large fries?" I queried.

"Enough for two people," he replied, still smiling his contagious smile.

I smiled back and ordered the large Cajun fries.

I was a bit surprised when he told me the cost, but it really doesn't matter where you go these days, you can't get take-out food for less than ten dollars per person. I paid for my order and he gave me my receipt, still smiling, and told me it would be seven to eight minutes for my order. I sat at a table and waited, eyeing the decor and checking out the place. It was fairly clean. Tables had been wiped and chairs had been pushed in. 

I hadn't been sitting for more than a minute when he came to me and offered a small container of peanuts.

"Would you like some peanuts while you wait?" he asked, that smile bigger than ever.

"No, thanks, I'm fine," I said, smiling back.

He walked away and true to his word seven minutes and thirty seconds later he was coming toward me with a brown paper bag. 

I got up to meet him.

He place the order in my hands and said, "Have yourself a good evening." And all I could think about was how friendly this guy was. He really must have been taught a new standard of customer service. 

I took the bag and smiled, thanked him, and went on my way. I hadn't been treated with that kind of customer service in a long time. 

As I was going to the car, my boys were coming out of Popeye's. Our mouths were watering at the savory spicy aroma of our food. It seemed like we couldn't get home fast enough.

Our son, as usual, was always satisfied with his chicken. The girls at Popeye's knew him well and he didn't have to wait in line to order as he always got the same thing. As soon as they saw him coming, the girl working the cash would yell into the mic, "Five spicy tenders!"

The brown bag I carried in was quite heavy. I place it on the table and tore open its contents. The amount of fries that spilled out onto the table was enough to feed five people. They were fresh cut from fresh potatoes and covered in Cajun seasoning. They were cooked to perfection. And you know how sometimes when you have fries in a closed bag the steam makes them soggy? Well, the guy didn't close the bag, so there wasn't an issue with steam and they were still hot and crunchy when we got home. This guy had a few tricks up his sleeve!

The burgers were wrapped in tin foil and were still hot. There was a double patty of beef, thick layer of cheese, and lots of bacon. I ordered the burgers with the works and that's exactly how they came. We had to open wide to take a bite. 

When I finished swallowing the first bite I turned to my partner, who was still chewing, and said, "Oh my God, well worth the money I paid." 

He swallowed and agreed, then took another bite. 

The beef was moist and juicy, the lettuce was crispy, and the tomatoes were sweet. There were so many different flavors flooding into my mouth. 

The burger was so big I could only eat half. And I had to walk away from the table to stop myself from eating too many fries. A girl has to watch her weight you know.

I had eaten from many burger joints in my day, some good, some bad, and I have to say that FIVE GUYS BURGERS AND FRIES know how to make a great burger. I will definitely go back. And the service was impeccable.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


You are forty years old today
We thought we’d never see you this way
There’s a bounce in your step and color in each cheek
And you’ve got a smile on your face that just can’t be beat

You were lost to us for such a long time
And you did some things that were very unkind
You would have been out the door under different circumstances 
And from now on there will be no more second chances
We hope you realize just how close you came
But it’s better now that you have stopped playing your game

We like to see you getting off work early
To come home and spend more time with your family
It’s nice that you are able to relax
It’s wonderful not seeing that monkey on your back

We hope that you will have a very good day 
And take a moment to appreciate all that you see
And know that we are thankful to have you and we are happy
We are grateful for the person you are trying to be
And we hope that we are helping to make that easy

This poem was inspired by a hope for a new beginning, a chance for a better tomorrow, and faith in the unfaithful.

Monday, April 14, 2014


April 1, 2014
(Don't for get the date!)
Liisa Cormier
Brampton, Ontario, Canada
(Your return address.)

Customer Service Dept.
Revlon CIC
P.O. Box 6113
Oxford, NC
(The company name and address.)

Dear Customer Service: 
(Salutations. Try to get a contact name if you can, if not, direct it to the proper department.)

I have been a very satisfied customer of your products for over 25 years.  
(Let them know that you have been a long-time customer, because a long-time customer is a satisfied and therefore, a valued customer. Positive statements encourage action.)

Recently, I have tried your Grow Luscious mascara and the brush does not work as well as claimed. Also, the formula is thick and sticky which causes application of far too many strokes; I don’t want to spend more time than I have to “putting on my face” in the mornings. Over the years I have experimented with various formulas with various brushes and some have worked, some have not. I prefer a formula that goes on in one stroke and you’re done!  
(State the problem with the product in a clear, precise, professional manner. List the facts. Letters that are understood quickly, well-written, and professional are taken more seriously. Also, a concise letter of complaint must make its main point in less than five seconds. A bit of humor in a complaint letter also creates a friendly, intelligent and cooperative impression.)

I regret to say that I am dissatisfied with this product and would like a refund of the product and postage please. I have enclosed the used product as well as the receipt for speedy process. If you have any questions, you may email me at xxxxxxxxxx. 
(State politely how you would like the problem resolved. Letters with a considerate, cooperative and complimentary tone are prioritized because the reader responds positively to the writer and wants to help.)

Thank you for your help in this matter. Hope you have a wonderful day.
(When people read letters, they form an impression about the writer, so if you want positive results, be positive and say positive things.)

Very sincerely yours,

Liisa Cormier
(Your name and title, if available. Don't forget to sign your name in ink, just above your typed name.)

Thursday, April 3, 2014


Have you heard about the Zombie apocalypse? And have you also heard that zombies aren’t allowed in Canada? 

Well, today, I saw them, a whole bunch of them as a matter of fact. I saw one at the grocery store this morning. She looked like a normal person buying normal food, except when the cashier told her the cost of the groceries, she just stared, went into “zombie mode” and it lasted a good two minutes. The cashier looked at me and I looked at her. I thought perhaps the lady might have been having a minor epileptic seizure. The cashier politely repeated the cost of the groceries and then the zombie shook her head, mumbled incoherently and gave the cashier some cash. The transaction was completed and I watched her throw the food in a box and shuffle away. Zombie. 

Then later when I went to fill my car with gas I came across another one. This time it was male. I pulled up behind the car and waited my turn. The man seemed agitated and when he was done pouring gas he shuffled toward the door. I thought he was going inside to pay for the gas, but he just stood there by the door staring at it. Perhaps he was waiting for it to open automatically. Several people passed him going in and coming out, but he did not seem to notice. I started to get impatient and reached for the door handle; I was going to get out to see what he was doing because I didn’t have all day to wait for him to move his car. Just as I was getting out he went inside. I sat back down and closed the door. He came back out and got in his car. He didn’t start it. He just sat there. I laid on the horn and he looked up, started his car and left. Zombie.

I was waiting at a traffic light. It turned green. The oncoming traffic did not move. What the heck is going on here today? I said to myself. I would have gone out ahead to make a left hand turn, but there was no arrow directing me to go. One car got the message and came on through while the other car did not move. The lady driving was just staring out the windshield. A car came up behind her and laid on the horn. She looked in her rear view mirror and slowly moved through the light. Zombie. When the way was clear, I made the left hand turn safely.

I stopped at another traffic light. A lady went through a red light and almost caused a major pile-up. Zombie.

A man was walking on the side of the road and bumped into a pole. Zombie.

I put my signal light on to enter the driveway of the apartment building where I live and pulled in. Someone backed up without even looking to see if it was safe to do so and almost pile-drived me into tomorrow. They stopped just in time and stared at me as if it was my fault for being there. Zombie. 

Zombies. They are everywhere. The scary part is they look like ordinary people. They live among us and are here in Canada. There are many of them. To see them all you have to do is go out there and observe. They are not hard to spot. And once you know what they look like you have the advantage and can prevent yourself from getting zombified. 

So when you go out there, be careful, they are everywhere. Stay sharp, stay focused, and above all, don’t panic.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


As we live our lives through and through

days go by years follow too

from young to old our time will pass

as we now know nothing shall last

here today gone tomorrow

life sometimes is nothing but sorrow

so enjoy life while your here today

for none of us shall forever stay.

by Lenny White

Dedicated to the memory of my aunt, Linda.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

THE EGO (for men)

The following article was not written by me. Unfortunately, I do not know the author, but I found it amongst my file box of articles. I hope it may be useful to anyone reading it.

File:How-to-boost-self-confidence-large.jpg     Knowing yourself means understanding yourself and why at times in your life you know the score, you know what to do but you just can't act. Sometimes you get feelings of frustration and intimidation in a situation. You may then make an excuse that you are too good for the potential rejection anyway.
          If you're in a situation and want to act knowing very well that if things don't go according to plan that you will still be OK and you will learn something new. If you can't make yourself act under these circumstances, than there is something nasty that still holds you back that causes a fear in you. If all of the above is occurring then you can be absolutely sure that the very thing that is preventing you from acting is your "ego".
          Let’s say for example, you approach a group of women and got ignored or laughed at. This would still be a positive situation. The question still lingers though. Why don't you act and just approach knowing that it might happen? 
          It is our ego that is responsible for our lack of action in all things.
          Our ego is an illusionary image that we have of ourselves. The ego thinks that it is too good to potentially get rejected and does NOT care about the upside of things. It just wants to be protected from any potential damage even if that means losing many good opportunities at home and at work.
          Some men will suffer from a higher ego than others, but generally our ego is there to protect us from feeling like a failure. In small doses this is ok but when it gets too big... THIS IS BAD THING!
          Your ego is an imaginary state of mind, an illusion. Your ego is something that permits you to think that you are better than you really are; it’s a cover up, a band-aid solution for insecurity. This is the insecure feeling that you won't succeed in your workplace and in your family life. With your ego though, you can pretend that you will succeed and so don't need to try. It makes you think that you don’t need to work on your job or your relationships.
          Let’s be blunt:  you go and approach a woman and you get rejected, there is a reason for this. She may have issues or is in a bad mood but most likely what just occurred was your fault. You most likely lack in skill and experience in cold approaching women and your insecurities take over and mess you up.
          This insecurity and lack of skill is something that has to be ironed out of you and removed over time. This can only occur through constant daily practice. Eventually you will gain the much needed experience that is so vital to your success.
          What prevents you from acting and achieving this though is your ego.
          Also, if your ego does not get what it thinks it deserves, then it will go out and find something or someone who feeds it.  For example, if a spouse is too tired or is pre-occupied, or does not want to give into your ego then you will find somewhere or someone else to feed it. Your ego wants constant attention and it does not want to be reminded of mistakes and failures.  This is why most men cheat on their spouses. Of course, this is an excuse. It is better to run from your problems than to face them head on and that is what having an over inflated ego makes you think.  Your ego may be why your relationships fail.
          Your ego will always get in the way. Your ego might make you feel good through illusion in the short term, but I guarantee you it's doing you more damage then you realize. What your ego is doing is robbing you from the vital experience needed in different situations so you can learn and grow. Your ego is not allowing you to act, and it has a hidden agenda. It wants to be protected and shielded from any kind of rejection at all costs.
          When you don't put yourself out of your comfort zone, you have no chance of rejection. Your ego is protected and this is where it likes to be. Over INFLATED and protected.
          WHAT ABOUT YOU THOUGH, WHERE DOES YOUR HAPPINESS LIE? All you end up with is frustration and loneliness and an over protected over inflated false sense of self.
          Most of us have suffered at one stage or another with an over inflated ego. We tell ourselves how good we are and how confident we are, but inside feel weak and scared. This is what it's like living with an over inflated ego. I think that the right place to begin to eliminate this enemy of an ego is to understand it. Don't let it stop you from acting and reaching your goals.
          Please remember that nobody is above rejection and these painful embarrassing experiences are a part of the learning process. They will help you to grow overtime and develop a thicker skin. The ego must go so that you may live in reality. You will find that the more aware of your ego you are the better you are able to manage it and control it.  When that happens you will see life in a new way and instead of having a false sense of security you will gain real security and confidence.  You will see a difference in your work and in your family life.
         Think about your ego and what it's doing to you. Where has it gotten you?  How has it affected your workplace?  How has it affected your home life, your relationship with your spouse and children?
          Is it worth it?