Monday, November 16, 2009

Go to this site and vote for this idea - right now!

Planned and perceived obsolescence has created the myth that a computer needs to be replaced every 2-3 years. Working hardware becomes e-discards that is being sent to landfill sites, shipped illegally to the Third World where it causes huge environmental and health problems, and since April of 2009 in Ontario, trucked to destruction plants, further wasting our precious fossil fuels and spewing toxic substances into our air.

Meanwhile, many individuals can’t participate fully in the digital economy because of the high cost of hardware, software, and Internet access, creating an ever-widening "digital divide" between the rich and poor. The Bloor & Lansdowne area encompasses the federal riding of Davenport, one of the poorest in the country, and this is exactly where CyberEquality expects to create its 2000 sq. ft. community technology centre in the first quarter of 2010.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Suite Life Fundraiser

If you go to this, I guarantee you will be glad you did.

Afterwards, you can come to the Free Times Café, 320 College street west of Spadina, and hear Gordon's Acoustic Living Room, 8-11 pm.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Sign the Declaration of Voters' Rights!

Are you fed up with voting in federal elections where seven million of us cast ballots that elect no one? Are you tired of Parliaments that don’t represent the people of Canada? Are you angry that a party can win a majority of seats even when 60% of us vote against them?

You’re not alone.

Several weeks ago, Fair Vote Canada held a press conference at Parliament to launch the Declaration of Voters’ Rights (see the article, photos and video on our website).

This document is not a petition. It’s not a request. It’s a people’s declaration. Canadian voters have a fundamental right to equal votes, fair election results and legitimate majority rule.

Between now and the next election, we intend to circulate the Declaration as widely as possible.

How many signers can we get? How loud will our voices be? That depends on you and other citizens.

If you sign today, and pass it along to just five friends, we can jumpstart this campaign and build real momentum.

At our press conference, the first three signers were Nathalie Des Rosiers, General Counsel, Canadian Civil Liberties Association; Ed Broadbent, former NDP leader; and Dr. John Trent, former secretary-general of the International Political Science Association.

Many others have since joined them. And now we need you.

Please sign the Declaration of Voters’ Rights today and forward it to your friends.

Yours for a democratic Canada,

Bronwen Bruch


Fair Vote Canada

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Fair Vote Canada

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Palm party postponed

Hey Fanz!

OK, I've had a couple of bars shut down right after I played there. But this is the first time a restaurant has closed up just before I arrived. Apparently the mere prospect of my appearing there was enough to make them throw in the towel and go out of business.

Well, not exactly. However, in a sudden development, Sage West Restaurant is now under new ownership.

It is also under renovation for the next month, which is why the breathlessly anticipated debut of the ROYAL PALM ORCHESTRA is POSTPONED until an indefinite time in the not-too-distant future.

Sorry for the inconvenience. I know some of you have been trying to call the restaurant for reservations. Put away your tiara and await developments.

However, you needn't be without entertainment in the meantime!

Start making plans to attend the Mississauga Big Band Jazz Ensemble Christmas Concert, 7 pm on Sunday, December 6 at the Cooksville United Church, 2500 Mimosa Row, in Mississauga near Dundas and Hurontario, to see if reindeer really know how to swing!

And come and hear me make music with these bands (count 'em!) in these places at these times:

Saturday, November 14, 8 pm
The Axes of Evil
Annex Live, 296 Brunswick Avenue (just south of Bloor)
Kevin & Deborah Go Coastal!
(RSVP to

Sunday, November 15, 8-11 pm
Gordon's Acoustic Living Room
The Free Times Café
320 College Street (west of Spadina)
(new tunes every month!)

Friday, November 20, nineish
Patio Dave & The Lanterns
The Brig, Norfolk Hotel, Port Dover ON
(Private Party)

Tuesday, November 24, 8-10 pm
Mississauga Big Band Jazz Ensemble
Arnold's Sports Bar
485 Morden Road, Oakville, 905-844-2613,
Cover charge $5
(Regular monthly gig — handy to Burlington and points west!)

Thursday, December 3
The Big Trouble Band
Mitzi's Sister
1554 Queen Street West (at Sorauren)

Saturday, December 5, 9pm-1am
The Wee Stinky Band
Sticky Fingers Bar & Grill
199 Essa Road, Barrie ON

Sunday, December 6, 7pm
Mississauga Big Band Jazz Ensemble
Annual Christmas Concert
Cooksville United Church
2500 Mimosa Row
in Mississauga near Dundas and Hurontario
Tickets $20

Sunday, December 13
Gordon's Acoustic Living Room
The Free Times Café
320 College Street (west of Spadina)
Fifth Annual All-request Night!

And every Tuesday, get Rambunctious at 11 pm at the Painted Lady, 218 Ossington Avenue just south of College,

Of course, January is just around the corner, and that can only mean — yes, haggis! Can't wait!

Speaking of tiaras, I was on my way to Sage Restaurant after school today, sitting on a westbound Carlton car at Queen's Park watching the OCAP demo in front of the Legislature. Screaming sirens approached from the south. Instead of an ambulance, a flurry of motorcycle cops took over the intersection. I was wondering if the demo was about to get rough, when a couple of flagged limos went by. Hmmm, I thought, what visiting dignitaries are in the neighbourhood? Aha! The Prince of Wales!

Yes, I was that close to him. And no doubt to the Duchess of Cornwall as well. Probably just had their flu shots down the street.

What a day!

A shop assistant who was told she could not sing while she stacked shelves without a performance licence has been given an apology.

A shop assistant who was told she could not sing while she stacked shelves without a performance licence has been given an apology.

Sandra Burt, 56, who works at A&T Food store in Clackmannanshire, was warned she could be fined for her singing by the Performing Right Society (PRS).

However the organisation that collects royalties on behalf of the music industry has now reversed its stance.

They have sent Mrs Burt a bouquet of flowers and letter of apology.

Mrs Burt, who describes herself as a Rolling Stones fan, said that despite the initial warning from the PRS, she had been unable to stop herself singing at work.
They would need to put a plaster over my mouth to get me to stop, I can't help it
Sandra Burt
Singing shop worker

The village store where Mrs Burt works was contacted by the PRS earlier this year to warn them that a licence was needed to play a radio within earshot of customers.

When the shop owner decided to get rid of the radio as a result, Mrs Burt said she began singing as she worked.

She told the BBC news website: "I would start to sing to myself when I was stacking the shelves just to keep me happy because it was very quiet without the radio.

"When I heard that the PRS said I would be prosecuted for not having a performance licence, I thought it was a joke and started laughing.

"I was then told I could be fined thousands of pounds. But I couldn't stop myself singing.

"They would need to put a plaster over my mouth to get me to stop, I can't help it."

In response to the furore created by their initial hardline, the PRS contacted Mrs Burt to apologise.

In a note attached to a large bouquet of flowers they said: "We're very sorry we made a big mistake.

"We hear you have a lovely singing voice and we wish you good luck."