ss_blog_claim=8dcabb3175f064b32823a45ed345083b Majik's Thoughts: October 2007


Parity Prices?

There has been a lot of complaints by consumers in Canada recently. C.B.C aired a special on Canadian consumers demanding a lower price. The special was called "Dollar for Dollar" and it included opinions from Canadian consumers. This is a good thing, because Canadians are finally starting to realize that the consumer can affect the price. Even the Retail Council of Canada has taken note. The Retail Council of Canada has issued a letter to Canadian suppliers to reduce prices.

Now of course there are other factors to consider when looking at the price of goods, it's not just the retailers that set prices. Manufacturers also set prices for their products. Also, Canadian manufacturers have higher operating costs than their counterparts in the U.S. which will affect the price of Canadian made products. Another thing to consider when looking at high prices, is competition.

Granted that the Canadian market is smaller than the U.S. market, but there are fewer and fewer competing companies. In addition to that, there are many barriers preventing more competition in the Canadian market. As well here in Canada, we have higher safety standards than some other countries and have to pay to make sure that a product is safe for sale on the Canadian market. Along with higher taxes, all these factors will be included in the price of a product on the Canadian market.

It isn't likely that we will see parity pricing here in Canada, but if more and more consumers start to stand up for themselves, we can effectively drive the price down. Canadian retailers do not want to see business go south of the border and are working to reduce prices. The Retail Council of Canada have a link on their website to a petition of sorts that will allow you to let the suppliers know that you want lower prices. This is a good thing and will help the Canadian consumer stand up for themselves and demand lower prices!


Can you run that by me one more time?

Okay, I was surfing the C.B.C.s website and I came across a show that is supposed to be airing next march. The show is called Canada's Next Great Prime Minister. Apparently its the second season of the show. I just have to say, "Can you run that by me one more time?"

The show is about young peoples ideas to make Canada a more prosperous nation. The prize they are giving out is $50,000. They don't really say very much about the show, I don't know why. There is an age limit set for those who want to apply, 18 to 25. You have to get people to vote for you in order to win, just like politics. I've never heard of this show before, has anybody else?

I can't think of any reason why this show was developed, except to get Canada's youth interested in politics. I'm sure all the young people of voting age are paying attention to politics, especially if they are in school. I remember teachers talking about people who don't vote let everybody else speak for them. Along with the latest commercials they came out with before this past election for Ontario's provincial government. Those commercials were quite funny, actually having someone else speak for you in different situations like a job interview. Do you go out and vote or do you let others speak for you?

But back to the show, what exactly is this show trying to accomplish? I had to do a double take when I saw the name of the show, really! Canada is moving into a better position on the global stage, and it is important for the youth of Canada to make an impact on our economy. I have a few ideas on what could make this country more prosperous, but what do I know, I'm just a blogger lost in the World Wide Web.


A note to Canadian consumers

I was taking a look at and found some interesting articles. The first one of note Canada will become one of the most powerful nations: Tony Blair, an article about a speech that former prime minister of Britain, Tony Blair made in Calgary, Alberta this past Friday. And the second one, Loonie briefly nudges $1.04US. Both articles show that Canada is getting more notoriety on the international stage. But even with these news worthy articles, Canadian consumers are still paying high prices for everything they purchase.

It is appauling that Canadian consumers have so much trouble sticking up for themselves. The worst part is that the consumer is supposed to control the market, not the retailer. You are the one with purchasing power, regardless of how much money you have, you still are the one who should be deciding how much you pay for an item. Recently I have stopped buying fruits and vegatables from my local grocery chain, instead, I go to a produce market, which is a specialty store. Sometimes in order to find better prices you have to shop around to find them. Now I wouldn't consider shopping around for the cheapest price being cheap, more like thrifty.

As a home owner, I have had to learn how to be thrifty. Especially when you are only supporting yourself on one income, when the majority of home owners are two income families, you have to learn how to be thrifty. Personally, I have a set amount that I would be willing to spend for an item. If the item is a necessity, then I would purchase it at the best price I can find, but if not and I can wait, I will look for a much better price and then purchase the item at the lowest price possible. I think a lot of Canadians have been too concerned with being called cheap while in school, it is during that time while you are growing up that you need to learn basic shopping skills. Sometimes you can be blinded by brand names or trends, but the bottom line is you have to look for the lowest price out there, that is why we have stores competing against each other.

Another reason for high prices is that certain markets are being dominated by franchises, and the old mom and pop shops are being reduced to a thing of the past. It is these mom and pop shops that help bring prices down, they encourage healthy competition in markets that are saturated with corporations trying to get you to spend every cent of your disposable income in their chain. If you want to see prices come down, look for the best price and support the little stores/restaurants that have to compete with brand name franchises.


The Quest for Space

I recently read an article on the CNN website mentioning that China has successfully launched a lunar probe. Now there has been speculation about Americas landing on the moon, but is it possible that a new space race is evolving? In the article Chinese Rocket blasts off to moon the associated press mentions that India may be joining the quest for the moon as well. Japan already has a probe orbiting the moon right now.

Also in the article, it mentions that China has interest in joining the International Space Station program. Currently, the Americans have denied China from joining the program, mostly because of the form of government China has. They have a communist dictatorship, and anyone who has heard of the cold war can understand why America would be uneasy about allowing a communist dictatorship to join the International Space Station program.

Speaking of the International Space Station (I.S.S.), has anybody heard any new developments on the story? I know that the I.S.S. was breaking news before the attacks on the World Trade Center, has that program been put on the back burner? Canada has been developing robotic systems to be added to the space station and I have heard very little on that as well. The last I have heard about the Space Station is that every shuttle crew that goes up will visit the station, mostly to check for any damage incurred during launch. Shouldn't the I.S.S. be used as a stepping stone for our quest for a space fairing civilization?


Hmm...An Obscure Ramble

What do you do when you can't think of anything to write? Well maybe a stream of thought might help open up the flood gates of creativity, but of course you need to start some where. Hmm...or maybe you could just ramble on aimlessly hoping for a shred of continuity to string everything together, or maybe you might do some thing a little more constructive. Do you remember tying a piece of string in between to empty cups with one of your friends and trying to use those as a primitive telephone. Did that ever work or did the bottom of the cup fall out when you pulled the string tight enough to carry the sound of your voice?

I remember going down to the nearest creek as a child and trying to catch some small fish, just to pass the time. Now that I'm an adult, I find different ways to occupy my time, just rambling on with a seemingly endless stream of thought is helping me pass the time right now. At least its a change from searching for content to blog about. You really can't take blogging too seriously, all you're really doing is sharing your thoughts on topics with the digital world and not everybody is going to visit your blog anyway. I know my blog usually experiences dead traffic. Why else would I be posting something obscure like this?

I only started this so I could flood the Internet with obscurity and hopefully get at least one laugh. You can't be serious all the time, you need some levity, sometimes watching a comic on television will help lighten your mood.

Okay, I've rambled long enough, what kind of things do you come up when you decide to ramble on to try and get an idea?


Price Gouging

Price Gouging, if I remember correctly, there are some laws that are supposed to protect us against price gouging. So if these laws do exist, then why are Canadians suffering from price gouging? I know as the owner of a car that we are being gouged at the pumps every time we put gasoline in our fuel tanks, but with inflation on the rise, and our dollar on the rise, how are we going to compete with the American dollar?

I found an article on the CBC website entitled Hotter inflation report sends Canadian dollar to 33-year high above $1.03 US that mentions that the soaring dollar should force prices down as most of our goods are imports from the United States. In this article it mentions that it was inflation that pushed our dollar to a 33 year high, but how are we actually going to compete while we our prices are way too high? If Canada wishes to continue enjoying having our dollar at or near par with the American dollar, prices are going to have to deflate a little.

If you reduce the cost of an item, the consumer is going to have more disposable income afterwards, which in turn can be spent on other goods and services. Even a small change like bringing our cost per litre of gasoline down by say ten cents per litre, on average, you will have anywhere between 2 and 10 dollars extra after you fill up your gas tank. What would you do with that little bit of savings? I know that making the cost of a product more affordable, consumers are more likely to purchase the item as well as purchase more items. I'm not an economist, or a financial wizard, but I am tired of seeing inflation on the rise as our dollar becomes more and more competitive in today's markets.

In closing, if you are a Canadian that's just as fed up as I am about high prices, speak out, don't stay quite like a good little Canadian. Every body needs to hear you stand up for yourself, stop corporations from taking advantage of the cash in your wallet, after all, didn't you work hard for that money?

Addition: After a comment on this post I felt the need to mention that a lot of companies have blamed inflation on the cost of oil. Since Canada imports a large portion of oil from the U.S., with a stronger dollar, shouldn't us consumers see the same benefits the refineries are seeing?


A Brave New North America

Welcome to the twenty first century. Now to go along with the E.U. the N.A.U. is gradually being formed. It starts with the Security and Prosperity Partnership (S.P.P) agreement formed between, President George W. Bush, Prime Minister Paul Martin, and President Vincente Fox. The S.P.P. is just a stepping stone towards a much larger agreement, conceived in secrecy and will ultimately be demanded by the people.

Do you want to know what people will cry out for? It is the North American Union (N.A.U.). It is an alliance much like the European Union (E.U.) and is only the second of two more similar forms of government breaching the shadows on the horizon. The story is just now breaking news, well at least to me, I have been unaware of it until now. I don't have enough information to fully draw a conclusion as to whether or not this North American Union will be for all the citizens of our continent a good move. I have been actively searching the website setup for the purpose of informing citizens on the S.P.P. as well as looking for more information on how it affects Canadians on the Canadian site for the S.P.P. I will undoubtedly report more of my findings as time goes on.

What I have learned from these websites is that, the S.P.P. is not a step towards a larger governing body such as the North American Union. Although there is an awful lot of conspiracy theories that are pointing towards the formation of a North American Union. New technologies are being developed for the implementation of the Union as well as pictures posted of the Amero. All of this is based on reports in the media.

I am still doing more research on the topic and will continue to post more on the subject of the North American Union. I am very interested in the affect the Union would have on the Canadian economy, as well as the growth potential the S.P.P. has towards our economy. As a Canadian, I will endeavor to research the affects of the S.P.P. on our economy and will report more details as I find them.

To be Continued...


More Than Meets the Eye!

I don't usually post any kind of review, but I have just finished watching Transformers, the recent movie. I must say it was by far the best movie I've seen in a long time. The graphics were awesome, and my favourite part of any action movie, the explosions were awesome! I highly recommend that you go out and get a dvd copy from your nearest store! Its worth watching over and over!


A Soaring Canadian Dollar Part 3!

In my previous installment of this title, I mentioned the N.A.U. (North American Union) and the "amero." Well I've done some more searching. I have found another article about just how little the average Canadian knows about this N.A.U.. In Canadians Completely Unaware of Looming North American Union Keven Parkinson (the author of the article) explains just how little Canadians know about the N.A.U. which disturbs me.

The N.A.U. has been conceived in secrecy and will affect everyone on the North American Continent. Unfortunately, the only nation that will benefit from it right now is the United States. Mostly because their once strong dollar has been failing, allowing doubts to surface about the stability of their economy. Canada will suffer if the debut of the N.A.U. happens within the next three years. Apparently the slated debut of the N.A.U. is in 2010. I'm learning more and more every time I search for more information on this Union.

As a Canadian, I am concerned because the dollar value of goods and services is higher in our country compared to the United States. Not only is the cost of goods and services higher here, the price goes up as you move west in our country. Another thing I am concerned about is what will happen to our health care. Canada is a world leader in providing health care for its citizens, what will the N.A.U. do to that system? Are we going to have to deal with the U.S. system of privatized health care that financially ruins many Americans? Granted our taxes are higher here, but that is for the most part to fund our health care system. Lets not take for granted our access to doctors and lower costs on prescription medications.

If this Union does debut in the next few years, are we going to be forced into the union or are we going to demand it? As of now, with the limited information I have on the subject, I am opposed to it, what about you whats you opinion on the North American Union?


Card Games

Do you remember the game, Go Fish, or Crazy Eights? I do, thankfully I have learned how to play a variety of other card games. My favourite would have to be Texas Hold 'em Poker. I'm not the greatest player, but I can hold my own when the cards are coming my way. I have tried different websites like Party Poker, but I would have to say the my favourite was always the Texas Hold 'em Poker on Pogo. Sometimes I won, sometimes I lost, but I loved the graphics in the game, even if they were a bit basic.


A Soaring Canadian Dollar Part 2!

Have you heard of the "Amero" or the "North American Union?" Well all this is new to me. Recently I have come across some rather disconcerting news, if you look hard enough you can find more information on it. I will definitely be doing more research on the topic, but here is some speculation based on what I have read and heard so far. An article of note on the topic of the N.A.U. (North American Union) is Debut of the 'amero' written by Judi McLeod, which is the inspiration for this post.

The collapse of the American Dollar and the rise of our Canadian Dollar has been fore casted. According to some sources, the collapse of the American Dollar was planned many years ago behind a curtain of secrecy. The purpose is to help usher in the "Amero" as the currency of the "North American Union." All of this information that I have come across sheds a new light on free trade agreements between Canada, Mexico and the United States. The strength of the E.U. (European Union) and the "Euro" illustrates strength in numbers, but can a similar system prosper here between Canada, Mexico and the U.S.?

A stronger Canadian dollar illustrates to many economists, the high cost of living here in Canada. Minimum wages are relatively higher here in Canada, for instance, an employee at McDonald's wage in Alberta or British Columbia is higher than it is here in Ontario. But here in Ontario, the Minimum wage is currently on a rise towards $10/hour. The cost of living has increased throughout the years and Canadians are suffering from price gouging every where we turn. How would a centralized currency affect the Canadian economy?

My opinion is that a N.A.U. would serve to drive prices down here in Canada, but would that really be good for the masses? Initially, if the cost of living for Canadians was reduced, the increase in disposable income would help out many Canadians throughout the country, and our GDP would be on the rise based on the increase in disposable income. However there is a draw back to falling prices, the reduced cost of products and services will in turn reduce wages across the board as companies reduce operating costs to increase profit margins. I'm no financial wizard, but reduced wages will force people to search for better paying jobs and most likely affect the national unemployment rate.

To Be Continued...


Blog Directories - My Thought of the Day

I've been searching for a new way to promote my blog. Recently I've come across some "Blog Directories" and I think joining them would be an excellent way to promote my blog. I've already submitted to a couple of websites, now I'm just waiting on approval. I should know with in the next couple of days.

I will definitely be looking into other options for promoting this website. There has got to be a million different ways to promote a blog, I just have to find them!


My Latest Addiction

Lately I have become addicted to traffic exchanges. Some of the sites on those manual traffic exchanges are quite interesting. My favourite would have to be StartXchange mostly because of the variety of websites. Most websites shown are splash pages, to encourage you the surfer to sign up to a program to make money.

There are other traffic exchanges, some of them are good, and some of them, well lets just say they're not the greatest. A couple other of my favourites are True View Traffic, Traffic Swarm, and Traffic G. All of these sites bring traffic to your site, just how much really depends on how much surfing you do. These are all manual traffic exchanges. You have to surf through members pages to get your page seen.

I like these four sites, I've found them to be addicting though. Feel free to check them out for yourself!


A Soaring Canadian Dollar Part 1!

Well folks, the Canadian dollar has been floating around par with the almighty U.S. Dollar. What does that mean for you? What does it mean for our economy? I'm not a financial genius, but it is my opinion that the only way for Canada to continue to keep our dollar at par or very close to par is to increase our GDP.

For those that don't know what GDP is, it is Gross Domestic Product. It is affected by imports and exports. Imports generally reduce the GDP while exports increase the GDP. This is just a brief synopsis of what GDP is. For more information on what GDP is go to Wikipedia to learn more. The most important thing to remember in my opinion is to consume Canadian made products, this will increase our GDP and overall help our economy to grow.

Now, what does the Canadian dollar trading at par mean for you? Well simply put, since products in U.S. markets are generally cheaper, it could mean more trips over the border. With all the border issues between Canada and the U.S. it would be a good idea to have a passport handy when travelling over the border. Even though the U.S. and Canada have generally good relations, having a passport to enter another country should be widely practised. You wouldn't go to another country with out one, so why should you go to the the States with out one?

The problem with a high Canadian dollar is that it tends to drive business south of the border. Labour costs are cheaper in the States and with a decreasing profit margin, more and more companies will be considering moving back across the border. As Canadians, we are going to have to invest more into our Canadian business' to support a stronger dollar. But with our dollar so high, some prices on commodities should be on a downward slope making your dollar go further. But will companies voluntarily reduce the price of their product? If we want to continue to trade with the U.S. they should, because they are not going to want to purchase Canadian goods at Canadian prices.

To be continued....


On the Rebound

Well the Maple Leafs have bounced back. But how long are they going to be able to keep up the hard work? Tonight's 8 to 1 win over the New York Islanders had a redeeming feel to it after their loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. Are they going to play well against Pittsburgh on Saturday?

As of now, Mats Sundin is now, officially the all time point and goal leader for the Maple Leafs. Its about time! Congratulations Mats!

Before I end this post, I just have one thing to say. If you are going to leave a comment, positive or negative, leave your name with your comment! As of today I will not publish any comments, positive or negative, with out a name attached to them. I don't care if your comments are positive or negative, but if you do not leave a name with your comment, it will not be seen by anybody else!


What happened?

After I heard the score of tonight's game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Carolina Hurricanes, I just have to ask; what happened? The Leafs lost by a score of 7 to 1, did any of them show up for the game? And when did the new number one goalie turn into Swiss cheese?

I remember hockey before the lock out, it was good, Toronto was doing well. Now with the new rules and the salary cap, they stink! What happened to the team that I remember? I remember listening to the game at work today, and every time I actually heard the game, Carolina was on another power play. Come on, you can't win a hockey game from the penalty box.

Four games into the season and the Maple Leafs are 1-2-1. What will the next few games bring? I'm hoping a win, but if they don't do something to improve the way they place, then I'm going to be preparing for another disappointing season.


Writers block!

This was inevitably gonna happen. I have run into a case of writers block. I need the help of you, my readers. If you have a topic that you think I should blog about then please leave a comment with your topic with a brief synopses of your point of view. Afterwards, check back often to look for your topic.


Roommates Part 2

This is a follow up to an earlier post. People keep asking my for this installment, so here it is. After I had finally caught up with my so called roommate, I learned that, well I don't have a roommate. Apparently, he now has a place of his own to stay at. The topic of rent did come up and he did say he would pay it. As for when I would see it, that is going to remain a mystery!


An hour in a 24 hour grocery store

You gotta love those grocery stores that are open 24 hours a day! I have gone into the same store during regular business hours and the wee hours of the morning. Sometimes I think they don't have enough staff on the night shift, but for the convenience of doing some grocery shopping at night, its just fine. For all those who don't know, I usually work till late at night, and if I have forgotten to pick something up before I go into work, having a 24 hour grocery store within walking distance is perfect!

I don't recommend spending an hour in the store during the early hours in the morning, but if you have to, you have to! There are some cons to going grocery shopping late at night. The staff is busy trying to restock the shelves and only one check out counter is open. If you by chance happen to need to check out while they are on break, you may be waiting for a little while, I had too. Another is they may be out of a product your looking for, sale items may not be on the shelves.

There are some pros to doing your grocery shopping in the very early morning. For one, there's very few people in the store and you can take your time looking for what you want. Another, you don't have to worry about bumping into people you know, if you do, its a rare occasion. And if you're in a hurry, you don't have to worry about running people over while you shop, it can be very quick!

All in all, its just a convenience to have a 24 hour grocery store nearby. If you like to get special cuts of meat, you would have to go during the day, but if you're only going for special cuts of meat, just go to a butcher shop, during the day! Most of my trips at night to the grocery store are quick, its convenient and its quiet. What do you think, would you prefer to shop during the wee hours of the night or during the day?



Do you remember a game played as a child called telephone. Do you remember a simple sentence like "Mary wore a red dress" was whispered into the ear of the person next to you. Do you remember how that simple sentence turned in to something outlandish like "Mary rode a pink and purple elephant while carrying a red umbrella?" Does anybody remember the moral lesson behind the game?

Recently, in my circle of friends, we had an impromptu game of telephone. One of my friends was trying to keep a secret with one person, and that person spilled the beans to another and all down the line things became interesting, to say the least. It was another one of those who seeing who gossip things, and honestly, who cares? If you don't want anybody to know who you are seeing, make sure that person is from out of town, because in a small town, or city, it doesn't take long to figure it out. Another thing, if you don't want anybody to know who you're seeing, I have two questions: The first one, what are you ashamed of? And the second, how many other people are you seeing?

Gossip can be a vicious circle, everything that is said can and does get misconstrued, just like a simple sentence like "Mary wore a red dress." Now that we are adults, the game "Telephone" can be very interesting as well as annoying, and sometimes a major source of drama, just in case prime time television hasn't given you enough. The moral lesson of the game sometimes gets lost, but really, does every body still have to create drama with children's games? We're adults now, enough of the childish games. As much as we all like drama, enough is enough, its time to grow up. I'm not saying that you still can't be a kid at heart, but just don't let the "pink and purple elephant" get into your red dress!


Another Rant About Traffic

I have decided to write yet another post about bad drivers. After learning today that my parents were in a car accident, I feel compelled to say more about bad drivers. Granted that not every one on the road is a bad driver all the time, every body has momentary lapses of judgement every once and a while, but when you are in a rush to get some where, those momentary lapses increase in frequency. I guess my main point is, when you are in a hurry to do anything, mistakes will inevitably happen. We are all human and have our own unique flaws, but seriously, when you're driving a car, pay attention, other people need to arrive in one piece, not just you!

I was told that the person who turned in front of my Dad's van was turning into a Tim Horton's, the idea that a coffee could be more important than judging the speed of oncoming traffic well disturbs me. The bottom line is, its a coffee, you can make it at home, their is no real rush to get one. Now I'm only speculating, I haven't had a chance to find out all of the details, my parents were still in shock. But the idea of getting a coffee in a hurry causing an accident, was the first one to cross my mind.

From personal experiences, you can be in a rush all you want, when you have to place an order to get anything, there is always going to be a waiting period. Rushing to wait does not make any sense to me, there's no point to breaking the speed limit just to wait in a line up of cars at the drive through. Is any one with me here? We are rapidly running out of natural resources everyday, granted time is one of them, but if you're in your car and you really need to be somewhere, there are alternative routes, you don't have to risk an accident turning in front of oncoming traffic!

I can understand some of the reason behind why we rush about. But when you are turning or going in front of someone, there are certain rules of the road you should adhere to, the most important of these is to ensure you have enough space between you and any vehicle that could potentially run into you. It is imperative for every driver to ensure the "Safe" execution of a move in front of some one or turning left when there is oncoming traffic or simply pulling out into traffic. For every body's safety, please make sure you have enough time and space to make your turn or merge safely, we all need to arrive alive!