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Everything posted by overthere

  1. I did the payback calculations on an induction cooktop/built in oven vs gas range a couple years ago(and at a time when gas prices were about double what they are today). It was about 24 years to break even, which is longer than the life of the appliance so it makes no sense at all for me. It makes even less financial sense as the cost of induction appliances have not really changed and gas is cheaper now. I acknowledge that induction tops are trendy and cool. Another trendy and cool appliance lately is demand water heaters. My best mate is a gasfitting instructor and his class did a payback analysis on several versions of same vs standard water heaters. Their best payback period- based on energy usage in a typical Canadian home- was about 25 years. Water heaters are rated at an average of perhaps 15 years of life, with wide variations depending on usage and local water quality. They're trendy but have no point for most people.
  2. "He is uniting he left." Good for him. he is entirely welcome to the left. It won't get him elected, because the majority of Canadians are smack in the middle of the politicial spectrum. And I agree that he is out of his depth, and would be a disastrous choice as PM. I am not trying to be unkind when I say there have been no indications that Trudeau is smart enough to run the economy. And that job is by far the most important element of being PM.
  3. MMM, no, it's the quality that matters now and always has mattered. The old hackneyed phrase 'quality time' is as relevant now as it ever was...... just spending time with children is not enough, they have to have your actual attention and involvement. Kids can easily adapt and thrive with two working parents if those parents pay attention when they are together. Having a non working parent in no way guarantees any kind of quality of life, the opposite may be true. There are plenty of screwed up adults around who were raised in Leave It To Beaver type homes.
  4. Gas is cheaper in Yukon than it is in BC. The fuel sold in YT is trucked via BC. Insane.
  5. In the late 1970s New Zealand had an extraorinarily generous social contract that applied to..... pretty much anybody. As a tourist, all health care costs were covered if you were injured while there. What was more remarkable was that you could also collect disability payments.... as a tourist while you recovr=ered. So, let's say you broke your leg skiing.... All hospital costs and doctors bills covered, and you could get a weekly payment to help with bills until you were healed. Crazy. No wonder they went essentially bankrupt.
  6. Clinton would have a very serious shot at winning if she runs, though she is getting a wee bit old and would be closing in on 70 by the next election. She has a really strong resume of direct experience domestically and internationally, and will attract almost all the people who voted for Obama, plus more. Much will depend on her opposition of course..... If the republicans trot out candidates that are of very low quality as they have for the last two campaigns she could win easily. McCain/Palin was a dream ticket.... for the Democrats, and Romney/Ryan not much better.
  7. Looks like about 60 of the 1000 refining jobs in Sarnia won't be done there anymore, though I don't know if the jobs are actually 'lost'. Move to Alberta, problem solved.
  8. In Alberta, the govt retained control of the wholesale side of the business while getting completely out of retail. In the end, they kept most of the profit while eliminating a lot of public liability.
  9. Alberta privatized retail liquor sales 20 years ago. There are many privately owned stores now, and the selection of products is far, far more than in the old days. I think the only people who don't agree with privatization here would be members of Alberta Union of Public Employees.
  10. I've had experience with induction cooktops in New Zealand. They are interesting, but I won't be buying one soon because a) they are expensive to buy as compared to gas or dual fuel ranges they require specific cookware which is not cheap. These two factors mean that aesthetics aside, the payback for induction cookers is just not there, they don't make economic sense here. The lack of payback is compounded by the very low price of natural gas now and in the foreseeable future. Maybe when the purchase price is halved and cookware gets cheaper.
  11. I go to perhaps 50 movies per year at the theaters, it is hard to remember them all. So many are so much better on the big screen, and Gravity is most defintiely one of those with its intricate and well executed special effects in zero gravity. Overall I reckon Gravity was an average movie, really a vanity film for Sandra Bullock who is in pretty much every frame. One caveat.... We saw it in IMAX 3D, which made for a pretty intense experience. Intense enough that one of our group was overwhelmed and had to leave as he was getting dizzy and nauseous. Last week I saw Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction. I know many will think they don't know who he is, but Google his name and you'll recognize him. He's in his mid-80s and been in over 200 movies, almost none of them as lead actor. He is a terrific actor, an interesting real life character and this documentary is very well done.
  12. I don't believe that children today are markedly different than children of any era. What has changed is the extraordinary and most often unworthy attention that can be focused on anything via the Internet. It's a massive boon to the media, who can now get alarmed and outraged about nothing instead of actually seeking out a worthwhile story. Another thing that has not changed is the quality of parenting. There is still the same wide range from high quality parents to the shockingly deficient. You rarely hear of the former group.
  13. I don't think that is the case, unless you work for the marketing department of an electricity supplier. Domestic smart meters have one purpose: to increase revenue for utility providers with a very small investment. No need to upgrade generation, transmission or distribution capacities at great cost, just cahnge the meter and start cashing in. The largest investment is not the meters themselves. No, the biggest cost is the marketing barrage required to convince captive consumers that they are part of some environmental crusade. Most people use energy during peak hours because they must. They come home from work, cook dinner, do laundry, read to the kids and go to bed. Repeat for 60 years, die. Nobody is going to get up at 3 AM to make toast and have a shower. Regarding utility costs in Alberta: what the graphs above do not show is contract costs for Hydro. I pay Enmax $.08 per kwh and that rate is guaranteed for five years. I can opt out of the deal with one months notice to Enmax if the regulated rate drops as it floats up and down. There are no demand charges or time-of-use fees so far for domestic users. Industruil customers have had both for many years .
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