Posted in business, current events,, technology

Huawei worries: Are they warranted?

What/Who is Huawei and why are (most) countries worried about them?  To start, they are a HUGE manufacturer of technology components, (reportedly) capable of “invading” the industry globally.  The problem is, they are based in China whose government has relationships with the rest of the world on shaky ground these days.

Morning Brew, my newest addiction, has listed five (potential) reasons (from the MIT Technology Review) in today’s edition:

Kill switches: Huawei builds networks carrying data for power grids, financial markets, etc. And some fear the Chinese government could sneak “back doors” into Huawei’s gear with the ability to weaken or disable networks in foreign countries if a crisis occurred.

Data snooping: Chinese spies could theoretically gain access to Huawei’s networks undetected to extract sensitive info from people and businesses. Another possible avenue for espionage? Smartphones—Huawei’s one of the top manufacturers in the world.

The 5G rollout: The next generation of wireless networks is arriving fast…and the last thing the U.S. wants is for Huawei to connect the world with 5G. As the authors note, “This will dramatically expand the number of connected devices—and the chaos that can be caused if the networks supporting them are hacked.”

Defying U.S. trade rules: Huawei’s CFO is accused of tricking American banks into doing business with Iran, which would be a violation of U.S. sanctions. More of that activity could happen.

Chinese government influence: The U.S. and allies suspect Huawei’s execs are cozy with the Chinese government, which is the reason they’ve taken such a hard stance. 

Making headlines around the world last week, Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, who just happens to be the daughter of founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei, was arrested in Canada for reason #4 above.  After all, Canada is one of USA’s allies, and is (should be) equally concerned for the same list of reasons.


Posted in, rant

Seat belts on buses recommended

Apparently seat belts on buses were recommended long ago after a Transport Canada investigation confirmed the fact that occupants are at unnecessary risk when riding on a large bus.  Doesn’t this seem like a no brainer?  It sure does to me.  I’m also pretty sure it must be to the parents of the hockey players killed in the Humboldt Saskatchewan crash last April.

The results of this investigation were kept under wraps for years, but recently outed by The Fifth Estate.  Why the delay?  They (Transport Canada) were waiting for the USA to change their laws so we could just follow suit.  Why does Canada have to wait for the USA to update their laws?  Good question, we shouldn’t.

School buses, coach buses, and possibly even city buses (although their use would be much harder to enforce) should be equipped with seat belts.  We could then add another step to train drivers that their vehicle must not (even cannot) operate unless occupants are compliant.  Surely with the technology available today sensors are available to monitor such things.  Retrofitting buses currently in use might be expensive, but one taxpayers might be willing to swallow.

I can vouch for the fact I would rather pay for that than the expense accounts of former Governors General and the pensions of former politicians.  Are you with me?

Posted in Canada,, sports

Canadian Olympic firsts

Although we Canadians have collected a record (for us) number of medals this Olympic games, we have suffered a few heartbreaking and painful firsts.

  • the first time the women’s curling team did not qualify for the playoff round since the inception of curling as an Olympic sport.  I have to admit though, the South Korean women curlers were so impressive, cool calm and collected throughout their games.
  • the first time both the men’s and women’s team have missed the podium in traditional curling (although we did capture gold in mixed doubles)  Again, since the inception of curling as an Olympic sport.
  • the first time (in five years) our women’s hockey team had to settle for a silver medal although nothing to scoff at there. They were outplayed, although the officials could have been less biased in their calls.

These disappointing firsts are a result of many things in my mind.  Canada has always been respected for their curling and hockey prowess, but obviously other teams are catching up fast.  It does not help that curling teams from around the world come to Canada to compete against the best for practice on the world stage.  It also does not help that many of these teams are paying Canadian curlers to coach their teams.  As for the hockey, the USA and Canadian women’s teams have always been neck and neck, with all other teams lagging far behind.  After 4 consecutive gold medals for the Canadian women, it was time for the USA to win one.  No other team even comes close, but that may change too in the years to come.

The fact that the Canadian teams mentioned were the reigning and repeated gold medal holders in their respective sports puts an immense amount of pressure on them.  All other teams strive to knock them off the podium.  The German team celebrated like they had won the gold medal after beating team Canada in the semi-final.

The fact that no current NHL players are on the men’s Olympic hockey teams weighs in too.  In previous years Canadian and USA rosters were loaded with NHL players.  The NHL chose to not allow their players to participate in the Olympics this time after the IOC (International Olympic Committee) refused to pay the players’ (considerable) insurance premiums and travel costs.

Day 13 of the winter Olympics proved to be unlucky for Canadians in a few sports.   However, there were a few great firsts to cheer about other days.  Just as other countries are gaining respect in sports they were not historically known to medal for, Canada is too.  More medals in figure skating and speed skating made up for those lost in hockey and curling in our total medal count. Here are a few of those awesome firsts:

  • Canada has won the most medals in speed skating since its Olympic inception.
  • John Morris and Kaitlyn Lawes won the first gold medal in mixed doubles curling
  • Sebastien Toutant won the first gold in the snowboarding “big air” thriller
  • first time Canada has won four medals in figure skating, two gold and two bronze
  • first time Canada has won 29 medals at a winter games, previous record was 26
  • first time Canada has won the third most medals in a winter games, (previous record was 4th) 9 behind Norway, one behind Germany (we were in second until the last night of competition when Germany won two medals in bobsled) and 6 ahead of the USA.


The time change (they are 14 hours ahead of us here in EST) was a bit annoying with these winter Olympic games held in PyeongChang, a first for South Korea.  Sometimes it was hard to tell what was old news and what was new.  Other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed watching all the talented athletes.  Well, maybe not the curling  or hockey.

If you have a few more minutes to spare, please check out my other blogs…

LOL laugh out loud with me on Your Daily Chuckle. These posts are NOT originals, merely things I saw on Facebook or elsewhere that made me chuckle.

WoW stands for Words of Wisdom, motivational and inspirational words. Again, I am NOT the original author, just want to share words that move me.

GARDENS4U is the website for my gardening business that is the reason I don’t post on this blog as much during the summer.

Posted in Canada,, sports

Olympics and gun control meet on Twitter

What do the Olympics and gun control have in common?  Twitter, they have Twitter in common.  This exchange of tweets on Twitter was too funny (and tragically accurate) not to share!  It came after the USA women’s hockey team beat Canada in the gold medal hockey game and the USA men’s curling team beat the Canadian men’s curling team to advance to the gold medal game in the winter Olympics.  It also came after another shooting rampage in a USA school.


Chris Sedenka‏

Hey @Canada, what else would you like us to beat you in today?
8:43 AM – 22 Feb 2018



Scott Morrison‏

Gun Control


This reply was the BEST!  Nothing more to be said that can improve that conversation.  Leave it to a little blue bird to get the last word in!




Please be sure to visit my other blogs:
Laugh out loud (LOL) with me at Your Daily Chuckle
Be inspired and motivated by famous words of wisdom at WoW
My gardening website can be viewed at


Posted in health and wellness,, parenting

Suicide Prevention Hotline

Suicide, especially amongst young adults, is rampant in today’s society, all around the world.  My nephew in Texas asked his Facebook friends to post this number, (the words below the number are his) which inspired me to write this post.  Please share this number, it is operational in both the US and Canada.

 Suicide Prevention Hotline (USA and CANADA)
1-800 273 8255
It’s OK not to be OK
22 a day is too high

Posted in business, Canada, music

Woodwind and Brasswind coupon

Woodwind and Brasswind is a well put together online store for musical instruments, serving and shipping to customers in Canada, USA and several other countries around the world.  They offer a convenient, user-friendly shopping experience for drums, keyboards, recorders, brass and woodwind instruments, guitars and more, as well as a wide selection of accessories, classroom teaching aids, and books.

Get 10% off your first order by signing up for a Woodwind Brasswind Coupon 


Posted in current events,, politics

Anger rules election



I, like many other Canadians, watched the coverage of the election last night.  I did switch back and forth between the Ottawa Senators hockey game and the election coverage though, very Canadian of me!

Through the whole election process, I was struck by how divided the country (USA) was on their opinions of the candidates.  People were/are very definite in this election.  In past elections (ours included) opinions varied, but there appeared to be much less anger.  Previously, all candidates had their strengths and weaknesses.  Not so with this election.

People are angry at and sick of Hillary’s lies, deceit and suspected corruption.  Others are angry and disgusted with Trump’s comments, actions and lack of political experience.  Today there are many furious and heartsick people in the USA and around the world because Trump won the election.  As naive as it may sound,  I hope this anger dissipates soon so the country can move forward together.

I also hope that president-elect Trump is not the crass, irresponsible,  selfish, crude, racist, sexist, idiot that all of those angry people say he is…

Posted in Canada, food,

Nestea Blueberry Mint iced green tea


I took a case of Nestea Blueberry Mint Iced Green Tea to a family reunion recently.  I loved it as did several of my relatives that I shared it with.  I was looking for something refreshing, but non-alcoholic that I could sip on throughout the day as I had a two hour drive back home that night.  Yes, it does have 27 grams of sugar per bottle, but on a hot summer day it was a nice cold treat.

When my cousin asked me where I purchased it because she had never seen it in stores,  I did a bit of research.  Apparently, Nestea is a Canadian company owned by Coca-Cola Canada.  That explains why I found this delicious product at a Walmart here in Ottawa, but she could not find it in the USA.

Today I saw a list on Facebook on what CANADIAN FOODS  you would miss if you are a Canadian living in the USA.  Ironically, I took Lay’s ketchup potato chips and the fixings for poutine to the reunion too, items rated number one and two on the list!

I think maybe the list should include Nestea Blueberry Mint Iced Green Tea too!


My cousin also vouches for the blackcurrant flavor too, although I have never tried it.

Posted in Canada, current events,, technology

Top google searches for 2015

The top google searches for 2015 were announced recently.  In case you are not aware of what information these searches provided, I have done it for you…

The first list of top 10 google searches is from the USA…


  1. Lamar Odom:   The former professional basketball player and estranged husband (their divorce was never finalized) of Khloe Kardashian passed out from a four day binge of natural viagra combined with too much booze, at a brothel in Nevada this past October. Although rumors reported him dead,  he came out of his coma  and continues to improve from the several strokes and kidney failure his body suffered.  Although Kardashian and Odom have apparently not reconciled, the divorce was put off so she could make decisions for his medical care…
  2. Charlie Hebdo:  A weekly magazine with headquarters in Paris, France that is best known for its controversial   and provocative left wing views that are published in the form of cartoons, jokes and articles.  Several terrorist   attacks have been launched against the magazine, the most recent one in January of 2015 in which twelve       people (mostly staff members) were killed.  And I thought cartoons were supposed to make you laugh…
  3.  A computer and mobile phone game where players are cells that get bigger and stronger by eating other cells/players. Sounds like an electronic version of Risk, the board game my sons used to play…
  4. Jurassic World: A movie that made a record-breaking 5.25 million dollars on its opening weekend in June 2015.  A sequel to Jurassic Park, this movie is set on the site of the original theme park, with a similar story line.  Ho Hum…
  5. Paris:  A recent terrorist attack lead by ISIL on a concert and restaurant crowd in Paris, France had us glued to our TV screens in November of 2015.  Apparently, many were glued to their computers and google as well….
  6. Furious 7:  Another movie, this one as its name suggests, is the latest version in the Fast and Furious saga.  The most notable fact about this one is that one of the stars, Paul Walker, died tragically in a car accident in 2013 while the film was still in production.  Sadly it was Walker’s last performance, and hopefully the last furious movie…
  7. Fallout 4:  Another computer game, this one from Bethesda Game Studio.  Who has time for all of these computer games?….
  8. Ronda Rousey:  She was the UFC bantamweight champion, at least until she was resoundingly knocked out by Holly Holm in Australia this past November…
  9. Caitlyn Jenner:  Formerly known as olympic athlete Bruce Jenner, Caitlyn is Bruce’s new transgender name, revealed to the world in July 2015.  She is also known as the stepfather/mother to the Kardashian girls…
  10. American Sniper:  Another movie, this one a war movie, based on the autobiography of a marksman in the US military.  At least it isn’t another sequel…


The next list was our Canadian version of the top 10 google searches, with the top four and number 7 showing significant Canadian content…

  1. Blue Jays:  Toronto’s professional baseball team, that thrilled all Canadians with their run for the World Series in 2015.  They fell short in the AL championship series, but the team that beat them out, the Kansas City Royals, went on to win it all…
  2. Justin Trudeau:  Canada’s new prime minister, currently best known as the son of former prime minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau.  Hopefully Justin leads the country to greater things than his father did…
  3. Federal Election:  Former prime minister Stephen Harper was resoundingly booted out of office by the above mentioned Justin Trudeau by voters wanting change.  Hopefully the changes will be positive…
  4. Pan Am Games:   Held most recently in Toronto in July 2015, the Pan Am games are a multi national, multi sporting event.
  5. Paris Shooting:  same as #5 in USA
  6.  same as #3 in USA
  7. Chris Hyndman:  A Canadian TV personality, best known for his interior decorating skills, that fell to his death from his balcony, reportedly while sleepwalking.
  8. Charlie Hebdo:  same as #2 in USA
  9. Lamar Odom: same as #1 in USA
  10. Caitlyn Jenner: same as #9 in USA


I learned a few things from researching this post; I hope you did too.  The only search item on the list that I did not know about was the game.   I also discovered that Americans like their movies and computer/video games, while we Canadians are into sports and current events.