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Friday, January 30, 2009

Let's Talk 416

Here's my take on NEXT week's Battlestar Galactica. I'd like to say this now and then quietly wait to see how it plays out. Here's what I think will happen for "Blood on the Scales":
  • An immobilized Tigh and Adama are taken into custody.
  • In a kangaroo court, Tigh is sentenced to death
  • They grease Tigh to shock and dismay while Gaeta watches on. (What's the geek abbreviation for "major character killed"?)
  • Lots of other stuff plays out (shooting, high drama, Apollo on Apollo action, etc.).
  • Adama is about to be killed if everyone doesn't give up and surrender to will of Gaeta (I've never liked the weasel)
  • Just then, the Cylon fleet jumps in (I'm thinking at the close of the third or fourth act).
  • Galactica turtles and does nothing. Its faked communication chaos means the civilian fleet doesn't know what to do.
  • Cylons board Galatica: Cavil's forces are coming with a surprise. Saul and Ellen Tigh arrive. Because they killed Saul while he knew where the fleet was, he could lead the Cylons straight to them and avert the uprising as soon as he popped out of the tank. The Seven may have had their resurrection technology destroyed, but not the Final Five. He has both his eyes but he's not younger, nor is Ellen (make-up department breathes a sigh of relief).
  • But for these Cylons, all bets are off: are they here to wipe out humanity; or have they seen the light (and the promise of getting resurrection technology back).
To be continued (come the frak on!)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

How Deposit Insurance Works

I quizzed the banking and credit deposit insurance about what happens when a bank goes under. My thinking: with all of the "Canadian banks can't fail" talk, there is too much smugness afoot. It begs for a big bank or credit union in Canada to collapse. When my Mom tried to move her RRSP to another company, her credit union refused to acknowledge her request to move. I think they were holding onto the cash for dear life. People are living on debt and saving for their retirement, so when a bank falls apart it will likely be when their RRSP management falls apart. But, in Canada, collapses are uncommon. Not a lot of people have make use of the insurance system.

Here's what I posed and what I found out:

Can you help me understand the process of submitting a claim for an insurance deposit. Here is the hypothetical situation and I am unclear how it carries out:

- say, I have $50,000 in a BC bank-- a member of the CDIC
- the credit union becomes financially insolvent and cannot allow members to withdraw any of their money
- How would I get the $50,000 or be able to withdraw it? Does the CDIC issue the claim pay-out? Is it issued to the bank? How would I know if they have those funds? What is the mechanism that would prevent them from disallowing withdrawals while accepting an CDIC insurance claim?

Thank you for your e-mail, in which you inquired about deposit insurance coverage provided by Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC). I must point out to begin that CDIC does not provide legal advice to third parties and does not issue rulings on the interpretation or application of the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation Act (“CDIC Act”), its by-laws, or any related legislation. These are legal matters for which only the courts can provide decisive answers. This reply is subject to those caveats.

CDIC is a federal Crown corporation created in 1967 to insure eligible deposits at member financial institutions in case of their failure. CDIC’s members are banks, trust companies, loan companies and cooperative credit associations that have CDIC membership.

Credit unions are not members of CDIC. The guarantee of deposits of credit union members in Ontario is a legal responsibility of the Deposit Insurance Corporation of Ontario (DICO).

For more information about DICO, you may wish to access their web site at or their toll free telephone line at: 1-800-268-6653.

This being said, in the event of failure of a banks, trust companies, loan companies and cooperative credit associations that have CDIC membership, depositors do not have to file a claim. CDIC contacts insured depositors advising them of the amount of insured deposits and of the method of payment. Depositors are reimbursed as soon as possible, depending on the size and the circumstances.

CDIC may make payment by making the amount of insured deposits available at another member institution, or by issuing cheques to insured depositors. Accrued interest (monthly or annually), will be calculated on eligible deposits up to the date of the deposit insurance payment or the date on which a court application is filed to wind up the failed, whichever comes first, and will be included in the deposit insurance payment, subject to coverage limits.

CDIC insures eligible deposits at each CDIC member institution up to a maximum of $100,000 (principal and interest combined) per depositor (or, in the case of joint deposits, per set of joint owners), for each of the following:

(a) savings held in one name,

(b) savings held in trust for another person,

(c) savings held in Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs),

(d) savings held in Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs),

(e) savings held for paying realty taxes on mortgaged property, and

(f) joint deposits (savings held in more than one name).

To be eligible for deposit insurance, deposits must be payable in Canada, and in Canadian currency. As a general rule, a deposit is considered to be payable in Canada if it is held at a branch or office of a CDIC member institution in Canada.

Eligible deposits include savings accounts, chequing accounts, GICs or other term deposits with an original term to maturity of 5 years or less, money orders, certified cheques, and bank drafts issued by CDIC members, and debentures issued by loan companies that are CDIC members.

For more information on CDIC and deposit insurance, you may wish to visit CDIC’s Web site at , or call CDIC’s toll-free information line at 1 800 461-2342.

Can you help me understand the process of submitting a claim for an insurance deposit. Here is the hypothetical situation and I am unclear how it carries out:

- say, I have $50,000 in a BC credit union-- a member of the CUDIC
- the credit union becomes financially insolvent and cannot allow members to withdraw any of their money
- How would I get the $50,000 or be able to withdraw it? Does the CUDIC issue the insurance claim pay-out? Is it issued to the bank? How would I know if they have those funds? What is the mechanism that would prevent them from disallowing withdrawals while accepting an CUDIC insurance claim?

Thank you for your e-mail inquiry regarding payout procedures from the Credit Union Deposit Insurance Corporation ("CUDIC') in the event of a credit union becoming financially insolvent.

CUDIC's responsibility is to administer and operate the deposit insurance fund. The Financial Institutions Commission (FICOM), an agency of the Government of British Columbia, is responsible for administering CUDIC and for administering the regulation of financial institutions operating in the province.

In answer to your inquiry, procedures are in place for CUDIC to issue cheques to depositors or transfer funds electronically to the depositor's financial institution of choice, and to redirect electronic or preauthorized payments, in the event that a credit union is unable to pay its depositors.

I trust that this information will be useful in resolving your inquiries. If you require further assistance from our office, please call the Contact Centre directly at 604 953-5200.

Quick Thought on Park Camping

David Johnston (hunger strike super-tardation survivor) wants a permanent tent city for the homeless. We have that: Goldstream Park's campsite. The bad news: it's hard to buy drugs and panhandle there.

Archie Comics Redux

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


When I watched the Obama inauguration, something about the crowd scenes seemed familiar. Then it struck me: the Two Towers! So, please enjoy a mash-up of Inauguration Day, if one of the speeches were voiced by Saruman.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Inauguration Day Schedule

The schedule:

Swearing-In Ceremony
When and Where: 11:30AM ET (8:30 PST) on the west front of the U.S. Capitol,
Theme: "Renewing America's Promise"; The full program will include:
- Musical Selections: The United States Marine Band, followed by the San Francisco Boys Chorus and the San Francisco Girls Chorus
- Call to Order and Welcoming Remarks: Sen. Dianne Feinstein
- Invocation: Dr. Rick Warren
- Musical Selection: Aretha Franklin
- Vice President-elect Joe Biden will be sworn into office by Associate Justice of the Supreme Court John Paul Stevens
- Musical Selection: John Williams, composer/arranger with Itzhak Perlman, (violin), Yo-Yo Ma (cello), Gabriela Montero (piano) and Anthony McGill (clarinet)
- President-elect Barack Obama will take the Oath of Office, using President Lincoln's Inaugural Bible, administered by Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr.
- Inaugural Address
- Poem: Elizabeth Alexander
- Benediction: The Reverend Dr. Joseph E. Lowery
- The National Anthem: The United States Navy Band "Sea Chanters"
Access: Tickets needed for Capitol grounds; National Mall open to the public

56th Inaugural Parade
When and Where: No official start time, but traditionally begins around 2:30PM; The parade will go down Pennsylvania Ave. from the Capitol to the White House
Participants: Armed Forces, NASA, Special Olympics athletes, The Azalea Trail Maids, Suurimmaanitchuat Eskimo Dance Group, drummers of the Bonnie Brae Knights, the Lawn Rangers and others groups. Get more details

10 Official Inaugural Balls
When: Doors open at 6PM ET
- Neighborhood Inaugural Ball: Hosted by Barack Obama, this is the premier event of the night, with musical performances by Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey, Faith Hill, Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, Stevie Wonder and more; D.C. residents invited; Walter E. Washington Convention Center
- Youth Inaugural Ball: Young Americans aged 18-35; Washington Hilton
- Obama Home States Inaugural Ball: Ill. and Hawaii invited guests; Walter E. Washington Convention Center
- Biden Home States Inaugural Ball: Del. and Penn. invited guests; Walter E. Washington Convention Center
- Eastern Inaugural Ball: Conn., Maine, Mass., N.H., R.I., Vt., Puerto Rico, and US Virgin Islands invited guests; Union Station
- Mid-Atlantic Inaugural Ball: Md., Va., D.C., N.Y., N.J., W.Va., Dems Abroad, and invited guests; Walter E. Washington Convention Center
- Midwest Inaugural Ball: Kan., Ind., Iowa, Mich., Minn., N.D., Neb., Ohio, S.D., Wisc., and Mo. invited guests; Walter E. Washington Convention Center
- Southern Inaugural Ball: Ala., Ark., Fla., Ga., Ky., La., Miss., N.C., S.C., Tenn., and Texas invited guests; National Guard Armory
- Western Inaugural Ball: Alaska, Calif., Idaho, Mont., Ore., Wash., Wyo., Ariz., Colo., Nev., N.M., Utah, Okla., Guam/American Samoa invited guests; Walter E. Washington Convention Center
- Commander-in-Chief's Inaugural Ball: Enlisted active duty and reserve military; National Building Museum

Friday, January 16, 2009

Ragnarok: The Musical!

With the wifey's procurement of an iPod and subsequent downloading of an eBook reader, I was reminded: "Hey-- I wrote some books and even put them online!" So I signed up for SmashWords and posted the first book I did that didn't wholly make me cringe: Ragnarok. Basically, a boy-meets-total-breakdown-of-society story. Depressing, angry and set in Victoria-- kind of like me ca. 1995. I think I could have done much better and may entirely rewrite it some day, as I am currently doing in fits and starts with my first book, Scavenger of the Battle.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

You Will Know the Truth Eventually

The SciFi network is pumping out the last of the teasers. Make you're there for the other Final Four:

Fourth to last
Third to last
Second to last

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Quick Thought on Snow Budgets

The bureaucrats in the municipalities in Greater Victoria can fund snow removal by fining all of the people who do not shovel their walk. Give people something like one day of amnesty from fines. Then, send crews up and down every streets: snow ploughs on the road and by-law enforcement officers on slippery sidewalks. At $150/address/day, there would be plenty of money for snow removal.
City hall won't go for this as the worst offenders are currently on council (or serving as mayor).

Saturday, January 10, 2009

David's Big 4-0

Happy Birthday, David!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Quick Thoughts: Hot Yoga = Hot Planet

Is Bikram helping to kill the planet?
The Bikram Hot Yoga locations are held at a consistent 42 degrees celcius (112°F+) to sweat out their patrons. In Winter or Summer, all day long the large rooms are heated to this temperature. Think about how much energy gets blown away to keep this trend going.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

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