Duffy Dollar rebuffed by the Bank of Canada

Written by Harold McNeill on May 26th, 2013. Posted in Tim Hortons Morning Posts


“For goodness sakes” (mom’s saying), the Times Colonist(as reported by columnist Jack Knox) choose not print a copy of the the Duffy Dollar cartoon after another Canadian newspaper apparently received a written warning from the Bank of Canada advising it was against the law to publish images of fake Canadian bills.

Duffy Dollar
Now, if the Times Colonist is so meek they can be cowed by such a mindless threat, it makes one wonder how they might handle a real exposé involving influential political or business persons suspected of wrong doing if those persons threatened with a law suit.

As far as this fake bill is concerned, it is hard to image that someone might be fooled into believing it is real. If that was the case, I know of an awesome second hand bridge on the Interstate 5 in Washington State, just south of the US-Canada boarder, that is up for sale. $90,000 might do the trick.

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Why the BC Election Polls were so wrong!

Written by Harold McNeill on May 18th, 2013. Posted in Tim Hortons Morning Posts


But then again, one man got it right…

Leading up to the recent BC election I was reading a book by Nate Silver, “The Signal and the Noise Why so many predictions fail – but some don’t. The book provides an excellent outline on a variety of prediction issues.  After reading a good portion of the book and then seeing how badly the mainstream pollsters failed, it made wonder if they had obtained their results using outmoded methods. CEOs of the polling companies, when interviewed on TV, dodged and weaved as they tried to explain the inexplicable results. It seems their margin of error was something in the order of (+) or (-) 100%, 20 times out of 20.

Dimitri PantazopoulosFollowing the election I continued the book, then happened upon an article posted on the CBC BC News  web site about one pollster, Dimitri Pantazopoulos, who got it (the BC election) almost bang on. Working behind the scenes for the Liberal Party, he confidently projected a Liberal win of at least 48 seats. An outline of his work was covered in a number of other media reports.

Mr.Pantazopoulos had been hired early on in the election to give the Liberals a realistic assessment of their chances as they were not thrilled (an understatement) with the mainstream polls whose results (predicting an NDP landslide) seemed to fly in the face of what they were hearing on the ground. Pantazopoulos’s information, which provided a much different story, was shared only among party insiders and candidates involved in close contests (where most of the polling took place).

Two weeks out from election day, the party machine kicked into overdrive and drove hard to the finish line. This included several hard hitting ads targeting Dix and the NDP party platform.

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March 2012 Tim Hortons Morning Posts

Written by Harold McNeill on June 19th, 2012. Posted in Tim Hortons Morning Posts


To receive regular notifcations of new posts, link to the
McNeill Life Stories Facebook page and click Like.

LINK HERE

March 2012 Posts

March 17, 2012   Rogers Communications: Deceptive Business Practice

Rogers is a big company, do they need to stoop to such
shoddy business practices?

Call Centre in Ohio

May 1, 2012 UPDATE: I spoke to a Rogers Outlet representative I know and he confirmed the following marketing practice is commonplace…

March 17, 2012 Comment

A few days back I was nearly caught short during a Rogers Communications Customer Satisfaction Survey being conducted by a Call Centre in Ohio. Although I don’t usually take these calls near dinner, I was in a bubbly mood so decided to let the woman ask away.

After a few questions about my degree of satisfaction with Rogers, she went on to ask if it was OK to check and see if any savings could be found in our account. Why not? She then spent considerable time (20 minutes or so) and I was feeling bad for taking up so much of her time trying to find so little in savings. She stated: “no problem, Rogers is here to provide you with the best service we can” or words to that effect. 

(2003)

My Tim Horton’s Morning Posts: February 2012

Written by Harold McNeill on March 5th, 2012. Posted in Tim Hortons Morning Posts


February 2012 Posts

February 29, 2012   Bill S-7, another Dangerous Bill to amend the Criminal Code, is back on the table

2012 Update to the Martin Niemoller quote below: “Since 2001, they began to chip away at civil liberties by makng changes aimed at ‘certain’ minorities in our society…I didn’t speak out because I was not one of those minorities.”

Over the past few days the ‘Robocall’ incident has dominated the news. Today, the National Post devoted a full 2.5 pages to the subject as they worked to play down the story suggesting it was all a tempest in a teapot. A few days earlier the same paper devoted only a few column inches on page 5, about the Conservatives resurrecting Bill S-7. I do not recall any radio or TV reports on the S-7 subject.  What then is Bill S-7 and why do I, a retired police officer, express concern?

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My Tim Hortons Morning Posts January 2012

Written by Harold McNeill on February 15th, 2012. Posted in Tim Hortons Morning Posts


Tim Hortons Posts for January 2012

January 31, 2012   The Threat of Social Media

In the 21 Century, the greatest threats Facebook, Twitter, other social media and blog sites present, is not the invasion of the privacy of individuals using those sites, but as a tool to ‘out’ the efforts of governments and giant corporations attempting to keep their dubious dealings secret and, in the worst case, of dictators trying to control entire populations.  This was no better demonstrated than in the events surrounding the Arab Spring which, to this day, continues to build across the Middle East.

Social media presents an unparalleled opportunity for individuals to co-ordinate and communicate their concerns about abuses by government and corporations that once held information tightly in the vaults of secretive government agencies and in the board rooms of corporations. Insider information and leaks today can be broadcast around the world in a matter of seconds. Wikileads is a good example.

Over the coming months and years you will see governments and corporations around the world working hand in hand to pass laws that control information they consider proprietary to their vested interests.  The recent attempt to close down social media sites because information was passed along that was considered proprietary, is a perfect example.  It did not take long before the US Government backed off once the backlash began.

Also, you likely watched as governments around the world become apoplectic during after the most recent WikiLeaks release. They are still pursuing Julian Assange with a vengence and arranged to have several organizations cut off Wikileaks services. Yesterday seveal hackers turned the tables on some spy agencies and hacked into some very sensitive conversations about those very hackers.

Worry not about what you post (other than that which may come back to haunt you at some future date) being accessed by some inept individual or pervert or even a government, worry about your ability to freely communicate your idea’s with others.  Except to fight against network posts or internet displays that cross the bounds of common decency or are clearly racist, fight censorship at every turn.

January 31, 2012  Hackers, Snoopers and Peepers

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My Tim Hortons Morning Posts Most Recent

Written by Harold McNeill on January 20th, 2012. Posted in Tim Hortons Morning Posts


 More Tim Horton’s Timbits

To receive regular notifcations of new posts, link to the
McNeill Life Stories Facebook page and click Like.
LINK HERE

Dear Reader,

Many Canadians consider a Tim Horton’s morning coffee to be one the five main food groups.  Yours truly is one of those individuals. I am now at the age where I feel slightly anxious whenever someone, even inadvertently, has the nerve to sit at my favourite table where I usually enjoy my morning cuppa and paper read if none of the other regulars happen to show up.

Each week I will add a few short posts about articles of local, national and international interest, as well as other miscellaneous items that have piqued my interest.  It seems there is never a shortage of items upon which I might wish to pass judgment.

Warning: The contents of this post do not reflect the views of my good wife, who sometimes jerks my chain just in time to modify a post she thinks might offend.  Since Lynn has engrossed herself full time with her travel consulting work, I am now running without the luxury of an Editor and Copy Reader. Any spelling errors and rough grammatical structure you encounter will most certainly be the product of my own hand.

I try to proof and correct but that is never easy when looking at ones own writing which is considered to be without fault and universally interesting. Bear with me, I am trying to overcome my shortcomings but the list is so long it will take years. If you wish to jerk my chain (occasionally!), that is fine.

Harold McNeill
Victoria, British Columbia

Travels from the end of March through April have taken me away from writing posts in this section. Hopefully, by the end of May, things will be back to normal.

June: It seems that other stories and spring/summer commitments will keep me busy until next fall.  Perhaps at that time I will return to regular posts in this section.

September 2012

September 30, 2012  Privacy on Facebook

In recent weeks, there have been many posts on Facebook and other social media sites about privacy. By definition, these sites are public. People post notes and pictures about themselves that lets everyone take a peek into their personal and private lives. What they had for breakfast, how they slept last night (sometimes even with whom), trouble going to the bathroom, a nasty little sore in a tender area, are just a few of the intimate details that periodically appear.

(9822)

Birch Lake: A New Begining – Chapter 2 of 4

Written by Harold McNeill on August 24th, 2010. Posted in Tim Hortons Morning Posts


Birch Lake Early Years

Photo (Collage of Mom’s Photos):  Family and friends in Saskatchewan provided a strong draw, but earning a living on the farm was becoming increasingly difficult.

Link to Next Post: A Place in the Sun
Link to Last Post: 
Blizzard of Forty-One
Link to Family Stories Index

Community Dance:  March 1941

It would be the first time since Harold was born that the new mom and her husband had attended a dance at the Meadstead Community Hall.  In those days almost everyone in the family attended the dance including kids and babies.  Because their were no carriages or baby baskets, makeshift items were used to carry the baby, diapers, bottles, etc.  Laura used an old suitcase for this purpose.  She would just pop open the top and she had a ready made bed for her little boy.

Arriving at the hall after a few months of being absent at the dances there were many people to greet who had not yet seen her baby and proud mom she was, took him around to meet everyone.  When the dance began, Laura tucked him in his bed in the cloakroom and like the good little boy he was, promptly fell asleep so mom could go our and dance.   Fifteen or twenty minutes later when she went to check on him, the suitcase now had the lid closed and it was covered in coats and scarves.

Frantically Laura began fling coats, hats, scarves, mitts and gloves about the cloak room of the Medstead dance hall as she uncovered the suitcase. From outside appearances she had gone stark, raving mad.

“How could I have been so stupid?  My baby boy is probably dead and it is my fault – how could this have happened? Please God, please, please let him be OK.”  These dire thoughts swirled through her mind as she searched for her baby boy.

(2006)

Treat Your Tradespersons Fairly

Written by Harold McNeill on March 31st, 2010. Posted in Tim Hortons Morning Posts


mary_poppins_chimney_sweep

By far the majority of tradespersons are hard working, honest people who will do a days work for an agreed upon price.  Some employers however, some who can well afford the rate, will turn around and try to stiff the tradesperson.

The 911 operator received a mid-afternoon call from hysterical woman screaming that she had just been assaulted. The barely coherent woman gave her address and two cars were dispatched Code 3. A record search revealed no previous calls to the residence, a large, upscale home in south Oak Bay.

Another patrol officer and I happened to be nearby – we responded immediately. Although there were no previous to calls to the residence, we approached as “high risk” not knowing what might have transpired. After parking several houses back, we did a quick scan of the street then covered each other as we approached the house. There was no one in the yard, no car in the driveway and the curtains were open. I approached the front door while my partner covered from the side away from the window.

About half way up the sidewalk, the door suddenly swung open and a woman in her mid sixties came rushing out. She was completely covered from head to toe in a black substance. Her appearance reminded me of a farmer having worked all day in a hot, dry, dusty field. The whites of her blinking eyes and the flash of her teeth stood in stark contrast to the black that covered her face. Although extremely upset, we were able to ascertain the suspect had fled the scene driving a white, windowless mini van with a ladder attached to the top.

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Comments

  • Harold McNeill

    February 28, 2022 |

    Hi Robert, I do remember some of those folks from my early years in Cold Lake (Hazel was my aunt and our family spent many fond times with Uncle Melvin, Aunt Hazel and Family. I knew Lawrence and Adrian. Having read a half dozen accounts it is clear their were many false narratives and, perhaps, a few truths along the way. I tried my best to provide an even account from what I read. Cheers, Harold. (email: Harold@mcneillifestories.com)

  • Robert Martineau

    February 25, 2022 |

    Its been a long time since any post here, but its worth a shot. My Grandfather was Hazel Wheelers brother Lawrence, and son to Maggie and Adrien. Maggie Martineau (nee Delaney) is my great grandmother. The books and articles to date are based on the white mans viewpoint and the real story as passed down by the Elders in my family is much more nefarious. Some of the white men were providing food for the Indians in exchange for sexual favors performed by the Squaws. Maggie was the product of one of those encounters. Although I am extremely proud of my family and family name, I am ashamed about this part of it.

  • Julue

    January 28, 2022 |

    Good morning Harold!
    Gosh darn it, you are such a good writer. I hope you have been writing a book about your life. It could be turned into a movie.
    Thanks for this edition to your blog.
    I pray that Canadians will keep their cool this weekend and next week in Ottawa. How do you see our PM handling it? He has to do something and quick!
    Xo Julie

  • Herb Craig

    December 14, 2021 |

    As always awesome job Harold. It seems whatever you do in life the end result is always the same professional, accurate, inclusive and entertaining. You have always been a class act and a great fellow policeman to work with. We had some awesome times together my friend. I will always hold you close as a true friend. Keep up the good work. Hope to see you this summer.
    Warm regards
    Herb Craig

  • Harold McNeill

    November 26, 2021 |

    Hi Dorthy, So glad you found those stories and, yes, they hold many fond memories. Thanks to social media and the blog, I’ve been able to get in touch with many friends from back in the day. Cheers, Harold

  • Harold McNeill

    November 26, 2021 |

    Well, well. Pleased to see your name pop up. I’m in regular contact via FB with many ‘kids’ from back in our HS days (Guy, Dawna, Shirley and others). Also, a lot of Cold Lake friends through FB. Cheers, Harold

  • Harold McNeill

    November 26, 2021 |

    Oh, that is many years back and glad you found the story. I don’t have any recall of others in my class other than the Murphy sisters on whose farm my Dad and Mom worked.

  • Harold McNeill

    November 26, 2021 |

    Pleased to hear from you Howie and trust all is going well. As with you, I have a couple of sad stories of times in my police career when I crossed paths with Ross Barrington Elworthy. Just haven’t had the time to write those stories.

  • Howie Siegel

    November 25, 2021 |

    My only fight at Pagliacci’s was a late Sunday night in 1980 (?) He ripped the towel machine off the bathroom wall which brought me running. He came after me, I grabbed a chair and cracked him on the head which split his skull and dropped him. I worried about the police finding him on the floor. I had just arrived from Lasqueti Island and wasn’t convinced the police were my friends. I dragged him out to Broad and Fort and left him on the sidewalk, called the cops. They picked him up and he never saw freedom again (as far as I know). I found out it was Ross Elworthy.

  • Herbert Plain

    November 24, 2021 |

    Just read you article on Pibroch excellent. My Dad was Searle Grain company agent we move there in 1942/3 live in town by the hall for 5 years than moved one mile east to the farm on the corner where the Pibroch road meets Hwy 44. Brother Don still lives there. I went to school with you and Louise.