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Calgary Select: Blog Archive 2006

Blog Archive 2006

 

12/7/06

Quality trumps volume

Here is what I consider to be a business tip, especially for anyone starting a small business. We look around every day and the businesses we all deal with whether for your car or your groceries seems to be volume orientated. Stand in line to purchase your goods. Imagine that actually standing in line wasting your precious time in order to provide someone else more profits.

So now your new business, doesn't have that kind of volume, so you focus on doing a good job.   A little success comes with that diligent hard work and eventually you start to see the volume and volume becomes the name of the game. As volume takes over in importance, then price becomes king. Lower the price get more volume. That is a recipe for disaster. Even McDonald's has begun to figure that out. Proof is the move to a more varied menu, trying to appeal to current tastes.

What is my point? Well, it is very easy to lose your focus, the longer you are in business. Here is the business tip: Re-focus yourself on quality, keep that the #1 thing and volume doesn't matter. Recognized quality services and goods are always profitable.  If you keep the quality up then the volume will probably follow and it will be more profitable as you aren't a slave to the price wars that pure volume organizations so often face.

Fall TV Schedule Calgary :: General 
 
Posted: Sunday, October 01, 2006 4:11 AM  Administrator Account Edit  
 
 What kind of shows am I watching? Why haven't there been more blog entries lately. Well the latter is the easiest to answer. Recently we merged with another company and that has kept me hopping!

I have been fascinated with a couple of shows recently, both of which feature the outdoors. Mantracker, an absolutely stunning concept. A professional tracker on horseback versus two people on foot (they have a head start).

Survivorman, this is a show I would love to be on. The Survivor man - Les Stroud spends 6 days surviving in some really remote areas with very few resources. A real eye opener to where we all come from.

After that we get into my favourite reality shows which need no explanation:

The Amazing Race

Survivor

Other stuff that makes for good entertainment:

Deal or no deal
 
 Calgary Outgames Calgary :: General 
 
Posted: Sunday, July 23, 2006 12:27 AM  Administrator Account Edit  
 
 Several News sources have reported that in April 2007, Calgary would host the North American Outgames.

What makes this topic of special interest is the change in the attitudes of major sponsors. They feel that not only is this a new niche group to market to, but also that the mainstream will find it acceptable that they are doing so.

Sports has the ability to cross gender and race lines and is a vehicle to foster universal harmony. For more information see www.glisa.org

 
 
 

 
 
Calgary Stampede Calgary :: General 
 
Posted: Sunday, July 16, 2006 1:02 AM  Administrator Account Edit  
 
 Well the 2006 Stampede is nearly over and I was left with a sense of shortness. We went to the grounds and paid the $12 admission fee. What did I get for my money? I am sure the Stampede people would be able to point out this and that and how much it all costs. Yet I felt that, my $12 got me an opportunity to spend more money. Shouldn't that have been free? Just like television if you have people hawking wares (on TV it is commercials) shouldn't they be sponsoring the admission price ( just like sponsoring a show)?

We walked around the grounds and the food was expensive instead of the old days when samples were offered freely. I wasn't  too interested in the show put on at the Coca Cola  stage, and we basically didn't go on any rides. The sand sculpture was neat but basically the same as last year. The standard contingent of armed forces exhibit was there and I got to sit in a helicopter but I doubt that was worth $12.00. We did see a fairly interesting cattle cutting competition.  The fireworks at the end of the evening were very good and that went quite a ways to making me feel better about the $12 but still it wasn't enough.

To sum it up with the number of vendors trying to sell all manner of goods, it just felt too commercial. It was a toss up this year as to whether or not we attended and next year, unless things get much better I think my $12 will be better spent elsewhere
 
 Red Mile Party Calgary :: General 
 
Posted: Tuesday, April 11, 2006 12:30 AM  Administrator Account Edit  
 
 I read today that the party is over for the Red Mile. Seems the politicians etc don't like anyone else to have any fun. Ok, I can understand the disturbance it creates around the area as people have to put up with rowdiness in their front and back yards.

There is a simple solution! Instead of banning the party, keep it on the Stampede grounds where it can be nicely contained. Erect a few beer tents, maybe bring in a little entertainment, proceeds could go to charity or to defray police costs, whatever. Join the party I say.

As to the "offences" (exposing body parts) come on this is 2006. Is this really a big deal?

 On line financial news Calgary :: Business 
 
Posted: Tuesday, March 21, 2006 11:12 PM  Administrator Account Edit  
 
 Everybody wants to help you invest. New kid on the block is Google. They have launched in Beta http://finance.google.com . Some of the older more established players in that market are http://finance.yahoo.com and www.thestreet.com .

Canadian focused /based sites include Canada.com . The Globe and Mail with www.globeinvestor.com . Reuters the massive news service has a Canada section .

 Happy reading and may all your investments be safe and sound and PROFITABLE.
 
 
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Spring is around the corner Calgary :: General 
 
Posted: Sunday, March 19, 2006 1:17 AM  Administrator Account Edit  
 
 So today the snow is flying and it is currently -11 C but we know spring is around the corner!. I was thinking about how very soon I will get out my trusty irons, head down to the driving range and get limbered up for the upcoming golf season. Can't wait!
 
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 Brokeback Mountain Calgary :: General 
 
Posted: Sunday, February 05, 2006 11:58 PM  Administrator Account Edit  
 
 Part of running a web site like calgaryselect is keeping an eye on what people are searching for. Because the website includes several newsfeeds we often see search queries that are interesting and reflect what are current topics. Unfortunately the news feeds aren't archived so as a result often the original article is not on the site anymore. One such query that keeps popping up this week is the movie Brokeback Mountain and in particular people want to know where it was filmed.

Universal Studios has put up a website for the film. It is www.brokebackmountain.com . The site contains extensive information on the production and it's director Ang Lee. The movie stars Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway, and Michelle Williams. To save you a little time in searching for the answer to the location, here is the information as presented by the official website.

"....Filming began in Alberta May 2004. Shooting locations include the Canadian Rockies, Cowley, Fort Macleod and Calgary.  Members of the Calgary Gay Rodeo Association advised and consulted with the production......"

Currently the movie has been nominated for 8 Academy Awards etc.
 
 
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Alberta Prosperity Bonus - Ralph bucks Calgary :: General 
 
Posted: Sunday, January 29, 2006 2:06 AM  Administrator Account Edit  
 
 So the Alberta 2005 Resource Rebate cheques are in the mailbox or on the way. For everone who doesn't get one, here is what it says on the tear off portion.

" Dear Albertan: Enclosed is your Alberta 2005 Resource Rebate. This $400.00 per person rebate is being provided by the Government of Alberta as a non-taxable, one-time bonus to all Albertans in recognition of their role in building this province. Funds for this rebate are from part of this year's provincial surplus, the rest of which will be saved or invested to build Alberta's future. For more information on the rebate, please visit www.gov.ab.ca

Congratulations, and thank you for helping build this province.

From,

Premier Ralph Klein"

So naturally a lot of people are wondering about what to do with this little windfall and also a heck of a lot of people are wondering how to get other people's windfall. So really just a heck of a lot of figuring going on. Which got me figurin (sic) and reckoning as well.  Did you know that 2500 of those cheques at $400 adds  up to 1 million dollars?

So figurin  out what to do with my money is  a dilemna. Then lets go wild for a second and figure out what would I do if 2500 people gifted their bonus to me. Well at that point I would be a millionaire! It reminds me of the tv show "My name is  Earl". He came into a windfall from a lottery ticket and decided to right all the wrongs that he had been involved in over the years. I don't think I would choose Earl's path simply because although I am no angel, the list really wouldn't be long enough to devote full time to it.

So what would I do with $1,000,000.00. First off I would think I would have to write each person a personal thank you note. If I wrote 10 notes per day, it would take me 250 days to do that. What else? Well it would be nice to immortalize the whole thing. Let's build a wall as a memorial and see about getting it engraved with each person's name. I confess I have no idea on how much that would cost but it would be a great tourist attraction. I would pick some spot that is scenic and also as central as possible to the province. Red Deer seems pretty central but of course I will need to haul out the maps and do some more figurin! So bottom line the wall is going to depend on how much it costs to do.

Realistically, I don't expect to receive anyone's bonus but if you do decide to send it to me don't forget to endorse it.

Have fun with it!
 
 
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Election Over - Conservatives win Calgary :: General 
 
Posted: Tuesday, January 24, 2006 12:02 AM  Administrator Account Edit  
 
 Unless you have been in a coma, it is likely you already know the election results.

It is great that it is now over, as it is time to return to taking care of business. There are some storm clouds brewing for the economy. BSE (mad cow) returns, Ford is laying off workers and sooner or later that higher loonie is going to wreak havoc with our ability to export and be competitive.

World politics, well we will have to see how it unfolds. Was all the American bashing just an election strategy or was there more to it?  Is the environment threatened. I can only say that Calgary is having a plus 3 winter (not so bad considering the alternative that has been enjoyed in Moscow).

Ancient curse: ".. may you live in interesting times..."

 
 
 
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I didn't know about this Calgary :: General 
 
Posted: Saturday, January 21, 2006 6:10 AM  Administrator Account Edit  
 
 I stumbled across an article about Prohibited Blogging and how it relates to the Election on Monday. It talks about transmitting election results to the public during Election Day. All the rules on this can be found on the Elections Canada website.

Now it was pretty clear to me that if I was watching let's say satellite news coverage that it wouldn't be cricket to publish early results from other provinces but what I didn't know was the big fines that are in place for polls & surveys. Apparently taking a public opinion poll is regarded as having a high level of influence and so is actually quite regulated. For instance there is a $25000 fine for "...failure to indicate survey not based on recognized statistical methods (wilfully) – section 327"

So that explains my disclaimer at the top of the page. I am not quite sure if I have to blank out my blog entirely on election day.

transmission of election survey results during blackout period (wilfully) – subsection 328(2)
 (c) 500(4) $25,000 fine

 
 
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Attack Ads etc Calgary :: General 
 
Posted: Wednesday, January 11, 2006 6:56 AM  Administrator Account Edit  
 
 Today we became aware of the Warren Kinsella blog due to a reference to the Duffy vs Duffy exchange about the ads that weren't run. That came about because of vwbug.ca had  a copy of the video and was linked to it. We moved it to a system much better able to handle the traffic load. You can see the video on ctv's web site

 
 
 
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Leadership Debate - Gaps in Canada's history Calgary :: General 
 
Posted: Tuesday, January 10, 2006 12:22 AM  Administrator Account Edit  
 
 Like  a lot of other Canadians, I tuned into the leadership debate last night. Very interesting but one thing struck me as quite odd. On the Quebec topics Mr Martin who reminded us he is a Quebecer, stated to the effect that Quebec'ers had built this country.

Now it is quite true that early French explorers seeking furs and others seeking a Northwest Passage did "open up" this country, but  a lot has happened since then.  Before I go any further it is important to understand that I like most Canadians realize that not only have Quebecers substantially contributed to this country but continue to do so. 

Where I take exception is that it sounded like nobody else contributed. Not the people in Ontario, not the waves of immigrants during the 40's & 50's, and certainly not the wave of immigrants in the last 20 years. Mr. Martin who were the workers that built the railway? Who were the people that settled the prairies and lived in grass houses? Certainly I could go on about all the other groups that contributed to building Canada but I think you can see my point from these examples.

The country that  Canada is today has evolved and is composed of many races and nationalities and is not defined solely by a history of hundreds of years ago. Recent history counts as well.

In my opinion Canadians built Canada!

 
 
 
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New traffic law controversy in Alberta Calgary :: General 
 
Posted: Saturday, January 07, 2006 2:57 AM  Administrator Account Edit  
 
 Supposedly everyone should have been aware of this as the Government of Alberta says it has run extensive radio and newspaper ads explaining the new rules on passing emergency vehicles. I don't listen to the radio very much but I do read the Herald every day and I am constantly reviewing web news. I didn't hear about it until the article in the Calgary Herald about what happened to Valerie Montgomery.

 She received a traffic ticket for a whopping $632.00. Basically an unmarked cruiser had pulled someone over for speeding and had the emergency lights flashing. The new law (October 2005) requires motorists to slow down to 60 Kmh or less when passing an emergency vehicle and by definition a police car is an emergency vehicle. Bang a posted limit of 110 minus the prescribed 60km yields 50km over the limit and a hefty fine.

So apparently the posted article has drawn a lot of comments good and bad. Why? There are multiple viewpoints to this thing. I am guessing that some people feel that ticketing is not an emergency and so the rule shouldn't apply. That would lead to the problem of how to tell if it is an emergency! Talk about getting painted into a corner.

Are there then rules on how long the cruiser can keep the lights on if the officer has finished writing the ticket? Should they put out warning pylons like the construction guys?  Who is responsible if I slow down to obey the law and get hit by a logging truck? Don't laugh an almost similar situation happened to me years ago in Toronto. I was on  a major highway and a guy went out of control in front of me and I managed to stop in time but the 5 ton vehicle behind me took out my rear end because he either wasn't paying attention or was too close. (by the way that accident is why I swear by driving my suv).

I kind of like the situation with school buses better. It is clearly marked that when red lights are flashing you must stop AND in addition the buses have a stop sign mechansim that folds out during the required time. That may be the solution, equip police cars with the folding sign but it could say slow down  or whoah, instead of stop.

Now that I have let our good readers know about this law, we have contributed to being a good citizen and helped spread the word about this law.

Links: Government of Alberta

The Alberta Government new release can found here

YOU REALLY NEED TO BE AWARE OF THIS PART:
( from the Alberta Gov. Proclamation of the Traffic Safety Amendment Act)
"......

Motorists must slow to 60 kilometres per hour, or less if the posted speed is lower, when passing emergency vehicles or tow trucks stopped with their lights flashing. Fines for speeding in these areas will be double the regular amount.
Emergency vehicles include fire, police, ambulance, tow trucks, and a vehicle used by a gas disconnection unit of a public utility or a designated emergency response unit.
If there are two or more traffic lanes in the same direction as the emergency vehicle or tow truck, passing vehicles need only slow down in the lane immediately beside the stopped emergency vehicle. Vehicles traveling in other lanes, including oncoming lanes, may maintain their speed but should proceed with caution.
In construction zones, motorists must observe the posted speed. When workers are present, fines for speeding in these areas will be doubled. This is where workers are on or near the road, operating heavy equipment, directing traffic, or using hand tools within the construction zone. Drivers need to look out for workers who could be less visible behind construction equipment.
...."
 
 
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News Bytes Calgary :: General 
 
Posted: Wednesday, January 04, 2006 10:14 AM  Administrator Account Edit  
 
 Well Happy New Year everybody.
Here are some newsbytes for your enjoyment:

CBC.ca reported that the Compton Petroleum's plan to drill sour gas wells is dead. Apparently they failed to file an emergency evacuation plan. ... Hurrah!

Bloomberg.com reports that Canadian mutual fund sales were about 1.65 billion in December (2005) source is a preliminary estimate from the Investment Funds Institute of Canada....Yawn

National Post (aka canada.com) reports that Albert will set the pace for national growth. "Energy wealth will accelerate Alberta's already nation-leading economy...." ... Yeah we know that

 

And Some opionion:

There is a big thing going on right now about a Microsoft vulnerability. One of the prime security sites isc.sans.org (Internet Storm Centre) has been pushing for Microsoft to do something about it. Meanwhile Microsoft is saying that it can wait till the tenth of the month. ISC is saying no no it can't. They even released their own patch for this. Yikes and double yikes. It seems to be a bit of a pissing match really.

I did warn our readers that the election campaign would heat up and yup , yup , it has !