Gun Owners Identified In Texas!!!

A few weeks ago the New York Journal News started publishing the names and addresses (via Access to Information) of all people who were registered gun owners in various counties in New York state.  The pictures looked something like this.

 NY Gun Owners


Recently we found out that there is also a similar list for the state of Texas.  We have posted the map below for your reference.

 Texas Gun Owners

Gabriella Miller is One Amazing Young Lady

When I first saw this story it literally brought tears to my eyes.

Gabriella Miller is a lovely young 4th grader…who was recently diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour. She was granted a wish from the Make A Wish Foundation. But instead of leaving it at that, she decided she wanted to do something more. So she started asking her friends to write letters to Santa.

You see, Macy’s gives a dollar for each letter to the Make A Wish Foundation. Social Media caught wind of the story…and the ball really got rolling.

When the campaign was over, Gabriella had sparked over 240,000 letters to be sent to Santa. In fact the final tally was 240,983. Macy’s added a $25,000 bonus in Gabriella’s name. So thanks to Gabriella, so many more children will be able to take part in the Make A Wish Foundation.

I just wanted to post this to thank Gabriella for the Christmas spirit which lives in the acts and desires like hers.

God Bless you youngster. And thank you.

95th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge-Lest We Forget

When the question “who is the most important figure in Canadian history?” comes up, very few think of the name Arthur Currie. But he is probably the one name that should come up. Because on this day 95 years ago, April 9th, 1917, the name Canada was barely known. But a scant 24 hours later, the name Canada was on the lips of countless people.

For on April 9th, Canadians fighting as a single unit for the first time in history, utilized Currie’s “Creeping barrage” to take Vimy Ridge from the Germans. It was the first time a nation had taken land back from the Germans and held it in the Great War. Canadian casualties numbered less than 10,000 taking the ridge when British and French troops took tens of thousands each in previous attempts to take the ridge.

Last December, I was lucky enough to visit Vimy Ridge. A few pictures are below. If you are a Canadian who is proud of your country, I highly suggest you make the pilgrimage to this wondrous monument. The battle defined Canada as a nation. It put us on the world map. It is the essence of who we are.

Approach view from backside of the Vimy Memorial
Approach view from backside of the Vimy Memorial

Me at Vimy Ridge
Me at Vimy Ridge

I brought a poppy with me and left it in the name wall at Vimy Ridge
I brought a poppy with me and left it in the name wall at Vimy Ridge

The tomb of the unknown solder at front side of Vimy Ridge
The tomb of the unknown solder at front side of Vimy Ridge

Tim Hudak Starts Barking Up The Right Tree

Today the Ontario PC Party finally announced a game changer. They will be eliminating the HST off Hydro Bills.

As we have announced here at before, the debt retirement charge that never gets repaid is subject to HST and we have argued that never paying off the debt (a la Dalton McGuinty) is a way the province will keep collecting tax dollars as the debt retirement is subject to HST.

Well Hudak has come through for Ontarians with this announcement.

An Ontario PC government will provide Ontario families with real, permanent household relief by:
Removing the HST from residential hydro bills. The HST has made life unaffordable for many families. Combine that with expensive energy experiments and hydro bills are soaring.
Removing the HST from residential home heating bills (natural gas and other fuels). We live in Canada where heating our homes isn’t a luxury. Increasing the cost with a tax increase is unfair.
Removing the Debt Retirement Charge from residential hydro bills. We will remove the so-called “Debt Retirement Charge” from your hydro bills. The full amount had been collected as of 2010 – yet the McGuinty government extended it to 2018.
Taken together, these three steps will give a typical Ontario household $275 in immediate relief from rising energy bills.

Thank you Mr. Hudak. We needed something to hit the masses with and this is a the perfect shot in the arm to stimulate interest in putting the PC party in charge of Ontario.

RIM’s Playbook Makes Like An Android Offering Best of Two Worlds

As many of you know, I occasionally stretch outside politics to give picks or pans. In this case I am bringing great news to Playbook owners (like me).

RIM has been demo-ing a new Android App Player on the Playbook at Blackberry World. This is an app that will let you play Android Apps on the Playbook. The app would need to be recompiled by the developers with a plug in RIM has developed for the Android development software and occasionally would need a tweek to run on the Playbook but it looks like an easy way for app developers to increase exposure to the Playbook owners.

What it also does is expand RIM’s Playbook application list. Right now the list is small compared to Apple’s App World, but the Google Android application list will surpass Apple’s in August, 2011.

This means that RIM will likely have access to more apps than Apple very soon. In any case, the access to apps for Playbook users is about to jump dramatically which is a good thing.

Hit the jump to view the video demo.

How OfficiallyAwesome is this news? Comments?

The Prime Minister is Stalking Me…But Only On Weekends

Saturday March 26th, 2011 I was asked to deadhead to Quebec City on a 130 pmish charter to drive an empty truck back to Ottawa to save the Conservative Party some campaign expense. (Little did I know it was on the Conservative Party campaign jet as it flew its’s first leg of the long campaign tour.) After getting on what must have been the safest airplane in the nation and sitting in my seat, the Prime Minister came on board. I then had the privilege of seeing the Quebec City rally where I got to speak to Senator/Minister Marjory LeBreton for a good hour or so.

Then last Saturday afternoon as I was working in the campaign office of the Honourable Gordon O’Connor, the phone call came in. The party was looking for some athletic youth for a photo op at Greco Lean and Fit on Sunday morning (April 3rd, 2011) in the north side of Kanata which is in our riding. So I voluntold my kids (who were actually keen on the idea) and Saturday by 9am I was in a room full of press and supporters as my kids worked out in the background. Senator Jacques Demers gave a rousing introduction of all the local MPs and then proceeded to introduce the Prime Minister and his wife. I think the best moment for me was watching from afar as the Harpers spoke to my kids.

Which brings us to Saturday April 9th. My daughter Cookie, as many of you know, plays volleyball with the Ottawa Fusion 15u Girls competitive team. The provincials this year are being held in Waterloo again at RIM Park. The girls did fine yesterday winning their pool which put them into the top 16 in the province for today’s seeding round. We arrived early and got to spend some time watching the 15U boys play as they played in the gaps between the girls games. So as the day goes on, we notice the number of RCMP security in the building creeping upwards finally culminating in the PM arriving to watch his son play in the provincials. (and may I add, the Boys 15U team from Ottawa has a great team likely to medal this year).

So there you have it. Three Weekends…three different cities…and the Prime Minister is there each time. I told you that he was stalking me.

Seriously. I consider myself pretty fortunate to have the opportunity to have met him once, let alone the few times that I have gotten to meet him. I am proud to say I am a supporter of him and the Conservative Party of Canada and I am glad to put in volunteer hours above and beyond what many consider normal. I am of firm belief that the party is on the right track and guiding our government properly with minimal problems. Annual NCAA Basketball Bracket Challenge

As many of you know, all politics and no sports makes Steve a dull boy. So as I do every year, I will be running an NCAA men’s basketball March Madness bracket challenge.

I usually get about 7 entrants so in an effort to do better I am opening this pool up to the public. Feel free to click the link below to join the pool. Note it is run completely online via Yahoo Fantasy sports and is strictly for fun and bragging rights.

I will try to make it a bit interesting by saying if we get 50 entrants, I will order the winner an baseball hat and if we hit 100 entrants I will give first place an T-Shirt and the second place entrant an baseball hat. NOTE: to collect a prize you must provide your email address so I can confirm who you are afterwards.

I know, I know, big spender!!! We ARE in a recession so cut me some slack. 🙂

To join, simply click the link below and go deal with the Yahoo application process if you are not already signed up as a Yahoo user.

Feel free to invite any friends or family you have.

Important Dates: Sunday March 13th at 5 or 6pm – Brackets are set live on CBS.
Thursday March 17th – noon – First tip off. Your brackets MUST be completely selected through to the championship BEFORE the first game tips off. This is important. DO NOT SIMPLY SELECT THE FIRST ROUND.

Use the comments to ask questions and good luck.

Community Service – Blackberry Tips To Make Your Experience Better

I seem to have become the go to tech support guy for all my friends who own Blackberries. So in an effort to make life easier, I have listed below a bunch of tips that should help make your experience a bit better.


When at homescreen press ALT + CAP + DEL at same time and release

Switching between apps.

Hold Alt and press escape button to right of touchpad/scroll ball. Keep Alt pressed while you scroll through apps. Let go of alt and you will open switch the app.

Press alt plus escape and release to go back to original app.

On newer models you can simply hold down the Menu button (to left of touchpad) until it appears and then scroll to new app and click touchpad

Dial by Name

To dial alphanumeric phone numbers like “1-888-Rogers1″ hold alt while you dial the letter portion and press call. Note this works for dial by name when you call a company directory.

Ring/tone settings.

To toggle between the current setting and the last used setting simply press and hold # (pound sign)

(If you’re in Vibrate and you used Quiet last, then this will switch you to Quiet and/or back again)

Free Flashlight

To turn your bb into a flashlight, open your video camera, go to options and change video light setting to “on”. Then whenever you open your video camera your led light will turn on giving you light. If you want it one click away you can program one of your side convenience buttons to open your video camera. if your BB does not have a video camera you can upgrade your OS and desktop manager to get the latest version which has the video camera. (may not be possible on older blackberrys with less memory or those blackberries without a camera flash)

Tech Info

Alt + Cap + H opens an info screen with any info a bb support or IT support guy would need from you.

Special Characters

To type accented or special characters simply Hold the letter key and scroll with your track pad.

Caps Lock

Press ALT + right CAP to activate caps lock (you’ll see an “aA” icon in the top right of the screen). Press it again to release caps lock.

NUM Lock

Press ALT + left CAP to activate NUM lock (you’ll see a “123” icon in the top right). Press again to release.

To easily manage multiple email signatures.

1. Delete your existing auto signature or change the option setting to No. (Open email. Click Menu -> Options -> Email Settings -> Use Auto Signature and then update your setting.)

2. Make an autotext (Options -> AutoText) entry where:

When you type: zz (or any irregular, non-standard 2 letter combo like zx) Replace it with:

Your Name

Your Company

Your phone, extension, etc.

You can have a “professional” signature and a “casual” sign off. Or many signatures. Now just enter those 2 extra letters at the end of a message and your signature will appear there.

Email Tips

Press T – to get to the top of an email, inbox, web page or document (ER key on a BlackBerry® Pearl™)

Press B – to get to the bottom of an email, inbox, web page or document (CV key on a Pearl)

Press SPACE – to move down one screen at a time (M key on a Pearl)

Press ALT + SPACE – to move up one screen at a time (UI key on a Pearl)

Press N – to move to next email item (JK key on a Pearl)

Press P – to move to the previous email item (DF key on a Pearl)

Press U – to move to the most recent unread email [from within email]

Press SPACE twice to insert a period when typing.

Hold a letter to capitalize it (without using the CAP key)

For you ultimate geeks

The BlackBerry captures and saves an ongoing event log file. If you’re experiencing slower performance on your BB and want to clear the Log, or you’re a developer who needs to see what’s happening at a deeper level…

Press ALT + LGLG (hold the ALT key and type the letters LGLG) The log file screen will appear. Press Menu to see options like “Clear Log” or “Copy Day’s Contents”.

Note: you must be in the home screen to get the log file!

If you prefer more than the simplified wireless coverage “bars”, you can switch to an exact decibel meter view.

Press ALT + NMLL (type the letters NMLL) This toggles between wireless signal as “bars” and showing the negative number decibel value (very techie!) Note: you must be in the home screen to toggle coverage meter.

If you’re a web developer, and you visit a site while on your BlackBerry, you can still view source code. While you’re on the browser page, Press ALT + RBVS (type the letters RBVS).

Credit for many for many of these needs to be given to