ICAR Luxury Supercars Experience

Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to drive a Ferrari 458 Italia with some friends on one of those exotic, dream car experiences you can find every now and then. It’s difficult to describe just how good of a time I actually had. As a simulation racing enthusiast it’s always been a dream to do what I do in the virtual world out in the real world. It really was incredible. I’ll cover the day from arrival to registration, instruction to the pits, the course tour to actually driving the course, and finally the photos and videos they take in the car while you’re on the track.

IMG_0375 Check the end of this post for a video as I walk out to the car, run my laps, and come back with a big smile. :)

 

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#Charity365

You can’t give more than 100% but many giving even 1% can accomplish much, much more.

Five years ago I wrote about the struggle to begin giving charitably. My original concerns included questions such as “What charities would I give to?“, and “How do I donate in a personally satisfying and sustainable way?” It’s amazing to see where I am now compared to then and the relatively small, very gentle, very spread apart steps it has taken to this point in my giving. A lot has changed, and I think improved, in my giving and in my thinking about giving, but one thing is still at the core: Satisfaction, sustainability, and scalability. I’ll explain all that below.

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The Jian Ghomeshi Saga and Root Causes of Violence Against Women

The following is a letter I submitted to the CBC program The Current, hosted by talented radio personality Anna Maria Tremonti. In the letter, I have put to pen my increasing frustrations about the nature of the discussion surrounding violence against women and why it is that our public conversations never seem to get around to the root causes of the problem, and to exactly why we’re seeing the behaviour that we’re seeing. For the record…

The Jian Ghomeshi Saga and Root Causes of Violence Against Women

I’ve listened with great interest over the past few months to your podcasts and especially those about violence against women. From the #YesAllWomen campaign to the Jian Ghomeshi saga I’ve listened to a number of podcasts and even blogged and tweeted about some of the issues, myself.

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Saeed Malekpour: A Canadian on Iran’s death row

Saeed Malekpoour: A Canadian on Iran’s death row:

In the 1,232 days and nights since his arrest, Saeed Malekpour has asked himself that question. Each day takes him no closer to the answer, but closer to the enigma of his death.

For most of his 36 years Malekpour was a problem-solver, a man with a workaround mind. His family’s troubleshooter. The cleverest in his class.

The Canadian resident, top-ranked engineering graduate, software designer is now awaiting execution in Iran’s Evin Prison.

Write your MP. Find your MP.

Beware insane customs brokerage fees for shipments entering Canada

I ordered an item online, from a shop in California, with a value of approx. $250. Shipping was something like $20 via FedEx. Okay, I ordered it. I got the item, was very satisfied. A few weeks later I get a customs charge of $90, 35% of the item price!

Update 2012-06-09: Ever since this happened to me I’ve been buying from Canadian websites. Even if they’re US companies, and they ship from US locations, their Canadian sites almost certainly will not charge the customs brokerage fees. For example, I’ll buy from Amazon.ca, Newegg.ca, TigerDirect.ca, all US companies but Canadian sites. The prices are higher but you avoid the cross border fees. And, remember, the tariffs and all that are there to protect Canadian business so consider that you’re doing something good for your fellow Canadian when you buy within Canada!

Update 2013-03-29: Another thing I’ve been doing is, if I must order in the US, I specifically order through USPS instead of Fedex, UPS, etc. I don’t know the specifics but, if you’re patient, it seems like I’ve avoided customs/brokerage by doing this.

I ordered an item online, from a shop in California, with a value of approx. $250. Shipping was something like $20 via FedEx. Okay, I ordered it. I got the item, was very satisfied. A few weeks later I get a customs charge of $90, 35% of the item price!

A friend mentioned a while ago that he shipped in a $50 item and was told to pay $50 in customs charges. He told them he wouldn’t and they lowered it to something reasonable.

A quick google reveals lots of other people with the same problem. This is idiotic.

The problem is the rates mentioned when buying an item are calculated for your location They know it’s crossing borders and going to Canada. Give me the real rate! Since you didn’t that means I didn’t agree to paying any other charges.

Wow! This totally strikes me as an extortionate and fradulent practice.

From now on, I’ll be shipping via US or Canada Postal Service. I’ve heard better things about their customs fees.

If you’re thinking of shipping something into Canada, think again, you may get dinged.

I wrote a nasty letter back to FedEx and I copied it to my MP and MPP.

I hope this situation gets better.

PMO Issues The Order: Canadian DMCA Bill Within Six Weeks

PMO Issues The Order: Canadian DMCA Bill Within Six Weeks

PMO Issues The Order: Canadian DMCA Bill Within Six Weeks

Months of public debate over the future of Canadian copyright law were quietly decided earlier this week, when sources say the Prime Minister’s Office reached a verdict over the direction of the next copyright bill.  The PMO was forced to make the call after Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore and Industry Minister Tony Clement were unable to reach consensus on the broad framework of a new bill.  As I reported last week, Moore has argued for a virtual repeat of Bill C-61, with strong digital locks provisions similar to those found in the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act and a rejection of a flexible fair dealing approach. Consistent with earlier comments on the need for a forward-looking, flexible approach, Clement argued for changes from C-61.

Join the Facebook group, Fair Copyright for Canada, and write your MP a letter!

Harper is not listening!

Harper is using dictatorship tactics to strong-arm in American DMCA style copyright legislation. Don’t let him get away with it!

A quick google for “dmca controversy” will get you all you need to know about why the American DMCA is bad for everyone involved.

Give the Government of Canada a Piece of Your Mind on Copyright Reform

The Canadian government has been on the warpath of copyright reform for some years now and every time they get it wrong.

Apparently they still don’t get it.

So give them a piece of your mind.

Fortunately, people like Michael Geist have been in your corner through this whole ordeal. Check out his website to keep up-to-date on this and other issues that affect your rights.