cosmic comic chaos

ImageFurther to my St. Albert Gazette column of May 2, 2012, I wanted to share more of my viewpoint of the CalgaryExpo Comicon this last weekend.

The Comicon event, presented by CalgaryExpo, April 27-29 was beyond monumental as it was the first time in 25 years that the entire nine member cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation came together for a convention. Other conventions have tried but for some reason the stars aligned and it happened in Calgary. Continue reading

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More on the breast: It’s becoming an Alberta provincial political theme.

My most recent blog post and column, “Let the Leaders Speak Their Minds” uncovered a rather amusing discovery.

Leader of the Alberta Party, Glenn Taylor, has an outdated blog to which he has not contributed since his inauguration last June. I mentioned it in my last column. Incidentally, “doingitdifferently.blogspot.com” is an understatement.

Continue reading

there’s no such thing as the perfect child

Fantastic article from a mom with a son with Down’s Syndrome.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/facts-and-arguments/theres-no-such-thing-as-the-perfect-child/article1470176/

For more from Sue Robbins, visit her website here: http://birdcommunications.wordpress.com/

an open letter to my teachers

Dear Teachers,

I looked at a map today, and when I got confused, I turned in my seat so my map faced north. It made me think of you, on that day when you failed repeatedly to teach our class how to read a map. […keep reading]

WCB: Gatekeeper to Dignity

For 20 or so years I’ve heard only one good story of someone’s WCB experience. Last week a friend told me his brother, injured on the job and now a paraplegic, had received a great deal of help from the WCB. I’m sure more good stories exist, but in general, the WCB has a lousy reputation. […keep reading]

slave lake town fire

On Sunday, May 15, the town of Slave Lake in Alberta was engulfed in a wild fire that spread rapidly and unexpectedly through its community. Residents were evacuated, only to find that highways out of town were closed to smoke. The roadway eventually cleared, and families were able to go to Athabasca, Westlock and Edmonton to try to find shelter.

As of this point in time, no one knows the extent of damage on the town, but estimates indicate that over half of the community has been destroyed. Reports say that firefighters were caught off guard when a shift in wind spread the flames towards the community on Sunday.

If you’re looking for information on family members who were moved you can call Alberta Health Services at 1-866-301-2668.

A Red Cross number for people to try and get in touch with family members from Slave Lake has also been set up at 780-523-3388.

The Alberta arm of the Red Cross is accepting donations for displaced residents. You can donate by calling 1-800-418-1111. […keep reading]

the canadian election: win, lose, complain, get back to work

1997 Canadian Election Results

I got an email this morning from a colleague, sent to everyone at work, complaining about the make-up of our political system, and the discrepancy between popular vote and electoral vote. His complaint included the statement, “And, over the next 4-5 years, remember that MANY of you and your fellow Canadian citizens are actually NOT re-presented in Parliament by someone they voted for or agree with.”

He referenced FairVote Canada, which has suggestions for improving the model. […keep reading]

yes! THANK YOU! Stollery pulls through with class.

I just got off the phone with the Executive Director of the Stollery Hospital.

She informed me that they are reimbursing us for the purchase of Isaiah’s feeding pump, and are making an emergency purchase of pumps for all families on the waiting list. She apologized for the difficulty we have experienced, and thanked me for my advocacy.

She also requested that I might be available in the months ahead to provide my insight into my own experience with the program, and how to make it better.

I am very grateful for the willingness of administration to address this quickly and decisively. And I am so happy that the families who have waited for months will now receive what they need.

Well done!

The full story is here.

alberta health care bureaucracy failing alberta children

[Good News on April 11! For a great update on this story, click here. ]

On Monday, April 4, I sent the following complaint to the Alberta Ombudsman. I am awaiting a reply, although I did get a “Thanks for your complaint” letter.

Our son, Isaiah, is 10 years old, and a resident of Alberta. Since birth, he has been fed solely by G-Tube. Due to excessive surgery and his own physical make-up, he cannot handle large volumes of food in his stomach and is fed continuously by a portable pump which he carries on his back in a backpack. These pumps and all supplies related to them are provided to children through the Pediatric Home Nutrition program, located at the Stollery Hospital in Edmonton. […keep reading]

aversions of the decade

(Can’t take credit for this, but I had to share it.)

As we progress toward the year 2011, I want to thank all of you for your educational e-mails over the past years. I am totally screwed up now and have little chance of recovery.

I no longer open a bathroom door without using a paper towel, or have the waitress put lemon slices in my ice water without worrying about the bacteria on the lemon peel. […keep reading]