From the Desk of John Wodak for the week ending December 1, 2018


Follow-up to November 27 meeting


Recommended Reading/Viewing

The Best of Funny, You Don’t Look Like One by Drew Hayden Taylor
Women Talking (and other works) by Miriam Toews
Washington Black by Esi Edugyan


SALT’s Seasonal Communal Lunch

At L’Espresso café (3, Churchill Square, next to the Winspear)
December 11, 11:45am (give or take)
$13.00, collected at the lunch (because Tim is still out of commission)
Acceptances to me (email or 780-417-1705) or Cathy Wintle (email or 780-471-1186); please specify any special dietary needs
Deadline for acceptances: Thursday December 6
Menu (provisional): soup + (sandwich or wrap) + cookie + (tea or coffee).
Our regular meeting at SAGE will follow, with guest speaker Terry Price


Notice of Change in Meeting

Our January 22, 2019 meeting will be a visit to two energy conservation projects, guided by Gordon Howell, P.Eng
The projects are near Westmount. Aileen is going to approach the City about the possibility of getting a (free?) bus.
Watch this space for more details as they become available.


Future Events

December 9, 2;30pm: St. David’s Men’s Choir (featuring our own Nic Juric!); Trinity Lutheran Church (10014 – 81 Avenue); tickets $20, from Nic (780-474-0126) or at the door.
December 13, 4pm – 7pm: PIA Open House; RSVP to Monica Walker at 780-420-0471
December 14, 7pm: Social Justice Movie Night at Westwood Unitarian Church (11135 – 65 Avenue)
December 17, 5pm – 9pm: Parkland Institute’s Seasonal Open House



(Aileen) Finalize details of January 22 “field trip”
(Edda) Notify SALTies who don’t have email about the communal lunch on December 11
(Carol & others) Find a speaker who can give us a balanced perspective on MAID.


Alberta launches Surveillance Program

The Surveillance Program under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership has been launched and is now accepting applications. Its purpose is to increase the early detection of existing and emerging livestock diseases, crop pests, bee pests, and foodborne hazards.

Read More…

Show me the Funny…

A Japanese company (Toyota) and an American company (General Motors) decided to have a canoe race on the Missouri River. Both teams practiced long and hard to reach their peak performance before the race.

On the big day, the Japanese won by a mile .

The Americans, very discouraged and depressed, decided to investigate the reason for the crushing defeat. A management team made up of senior management was formed to investigate and recommend appropriate action.

Their conclusion was the Japanese had 8 people paddling and 1 person steering, while the American team had 7 people steering and 2 people paddling.

Feeling a deeper study was in order, American management hired a consulting company and paid them a large amount of money for a second opinion.

They advised, of course, that too many people were steering the boat, while not enough people were paddling.

Not sure of how to utilize that information, but wanting to prevent another loss to the Japanese, the paddling team’s management structure was totally reorganized to 4 steering supervisors, 2 area steering superintendents and 1 assistant superintendent steering manager.

They also implemented a new performance system that would give the 2 people paddling the boat greater incentive to work harder. It was called the ‘Rowing Team Quality First Program, with meetings, dinners and free pens for the paddlers. There was discussion of getting new paddles, canoes and other equipment, extra vacation days for practices, and bonuses. The pension program was trimmed to ‘equal the competition’ and some of the resultant savings were channeled into morale boosting programs and teamwork posters.

The next year the Japanese won by two miles.

Humiliated, the American management laid off one paddler, halted development of a new canoe , sold all the paddles, and cancelled all capital investments for new equipment. The money saved was distributed to the Senior Executives as bonuses.

The next year, try as he might, the lone designated paddler was unable to even finish the race (having no paddles), so he was laid off for unacceptable performance, all canoe equipment was sold and the next year’s racing team was out-sourced to India.

Sadly, the End.

Here’s something else to think about:

GM has spent the last thirty years moving many factories out of the US, claiming they can’t make money paying American wages.

TOYOTA has spent the last twenty years building six plants inside the US.

The last quarter’s results:

TOYOTA makes 6 billion in profits while GM racks up 2.4 billion.

GM folks are still scratching their heads, and collecting bonuses….