Sunday, February 21, 2010

Margin Notes: Go Canada, God Talk, PC, CSM

A TTC Orion VII hybrid bus working the 35 Jane route was displaying "Go Canada Go" on 21-February-2009

TORONTO, ONTARIO - Toronto may be 3,200 kilometers away from Vancouver (that's 2,000 miles), but even here those games starting with an "o" there are an unmistakable presence. If one's routine involves interaction with TTC buses, it isn't possible to forget, as their route signs display "Go Canada Go" in tandem with their normal information, as shown above.

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My Sunday routine includes listening to KGO's God Talk hosted for almost two years now by San Jose State professor Brent Walters. While it airs from 6-9 am Pacific, I usually listen later using the Internet archive. It's almost like attending a college-level class on religion (after all, it is hosted by a professor), and now there are resource materials to go along with the program. The God Talk web site is now on-line, which contains a tremendous amount of interesting information related to the show's weekly topics. For those interested in a historical take on religion, it's worth perusing.

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My Sunday routine of late also involves a stop at the grocery store. Especially with my current limited budget, I almost exclusively purchase generic and store brands. A prominent store brand in Canada is President's Choice, available at Loblaw's and affiliated stores like No Frills. I had been familiar with this brand while living in New England, as it had been carried by Star Market until it was acquired by Shaw's. In any event, as a cheaper brand, I had been a regular customer, but now it seems to be going through a process of "up-scaling" the brand out of my range without noticeable improvement. Toasted O's have increased in price by $0.70 per 575 g box locally, so now I'm only buying Corn Flakes, which only increased by $0.10 and don't seem to have been modified. The Swiss chocolate I used to buy for $4.49 (on sale for as low as $2.99) was off my list anyway lately, but I may never buy it again as the regular price is now $6.99. So far, the salsa hasn't increased in price, but it was clearly reformulated so now I'm worried about that and all their other products... I sure hope they don't touch the generic No Name brand!

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I have a more positive opinion of recent changes at the weekly Christian Science Monitor. They didn't ask me, but apparently they asked readers what they thought of the paper, and more international news was demanded. Instead of being approximately half the 48-page weekly, it's now about 32 pages. There is a possibility of positive change in the world!

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