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The Random Thoughts Thread


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27 minutes ago, Benton Harper said:

The cannabis stocks etc. were also full of shenanigans 

I remember that one especially when cannabis was legalized in some jurisdictions. Banking on the legal market to bring in the revenue and profits.

In other news, people are targeting AMC, Blackberry, Bed Bath and Beyond and Nokia along with Gamestop stock.

Regarding AMC (movie theatre) being the hot volatile stock currently, they will most likely still be in business even when they have to manage cash very carefully. Noting that recording a 90 percent loss in one quarter. The only leverage they have is the distribution network because such films like Mission Impossible 7 and 8 (back to back) along with James Bond's No Time To Die costing hundreds of millions of dollars to develop. Trying to recoup their investment can only be done at the movie theatre with the more premium tickets to supplement the volume such as 4DX.

I don't think I would have the three hour commitment watching it in one go at home regarding a new film release. Even when it might be cheaper versus getting a movie ticket (Tuesday is the cheapest for Cineplex in Canada). 

Next week will be pretty interesting on how the Reddit group will respond with how the brokerages are putting warnings and some limiting how much volume can be bought. 

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Something has brought me up just now and I've read an article that an animal rights group called "PETA" (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) is telling people to stop using animal words as insults. Here's what I found from their Twitter page:

This has brought my attention for quite some time because back in my elementary school days, my teacher discriminated me because my handwriting was (gulp) "chicken scratch". That "remark" really hunts me to this day. I told my parents about what had happened and sadly, they didn't do anything about it. At that time, I had no "means" on who to file a complaint against a teacher who did that remark against me. While that remark back then motiviated me to become a stronger person today (and the freedom to express myself), I must not forget on how teachers treat their students - no matter their ability, race and other related stuff. To this day, I'm demanding an apology from that teacher (who by now has since retired. If she was reading this post right now, I don't know what the consequences be like).

If I were to be a parent of a child who struggles because of the remark the teacher did to his/her, I would have step up to the plate and file a complaint against the teacher (and eventually, the school). This reminds me on what @GTAmissions1 (sorrty for squeezing you in but, I have to) discussed about how I complained to the senior authorities about a social worker's biased service with "poor quality".

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With the current situation, I only have 7 more months until the current phone is paid off and the monthly payment towards the device is removed from the bill. Especially since I have never completed a two year contract and always break out at the last few months. Last contract I broke for the upgrade was the wireless carrier sent me a special offer saying "if you upgrade to x device, we will pay off your remaining months on the current term."

Considering that some people would roll over into a new term and most likely refinance at a higher price. At least it isn't a three year contract. Never forget when Canada was the only country with such contracts having to pay over a longer term. Especially since it has almost been 10 years since I owned a smartphone (HTC Evo 3D was my first device).

I always tell people who aren't familiar with wireless policies in Canada and come from a different country that our rates are expensive with very little competition. I just simply advise people to use either one of the major 3 wireless carriers. Since the pricing is the same and often matched considering the amount of coverage needed for the geography that Canada has. 2nd largest land mass in the world and a lot of population spread out depending on what part of the country you are in too. 

Looking forward to when the phone is paid off. Especially when cellular connectivity is always in-demand noting I have never had a home phone in several years too. Feels like a balancing act these days. 

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15 hours ago, GTAmissions1 said:

With the current situation, I only have 7 more months until the current phone is paid off and the monthly payment towards the device is removed from the bill. Especially since I have never completed a two year contract and always break out at the last few months. Last contract I broke for the upgrade was the wireless carrier sent me a special offer saying "if you upgrade to x device, we will pay off your remaining months on the current term."

Considering that some people would roll over into a new term and most likely refinance at a higher price. At least it isn't a three year contract. Never forget when Canada was the only country with such contracts having to pay over a longer term. Especially since it has almost been 10 years since I owned a smartphone (HTC Evo 3D was my first device).

I always tell people who aren't familiar with wireless policies in Canada and come from a different country that our rates are expensive with very little competition. I just simply advise people to use either one of the major 3 wireless carriers. Since the pricing is the same and often matched considering the amount of coverage needed for the geography that Canada has. 2nd largest land mass in the world and a lot of population spread out depending on what part of the country you are in too. 

Looking forward to when the phone is paid off. Especially when cellular connectivity is always in-demand noting I have never had a home phone in several years too. Feels like a balancing act these days. 

Paying off a mobile (cell) phone is like when you pay a car loan when you get a new car. Similar instances, similar payments - same principles. 

Still with financing, many retailers are nowadays offering in-store financing through a third party (one of the companies I know of out of my head is "Flexiti") - from electronic stores to furniture stores. 

When I bought a gaming laptop a whilr back, I used my VISA Infinite Credit Card that was provided/offered by my bank and it features purchase protection /warranty coverage. I also used one of my rewards points as well to offset the balance (one of the points that were destined for my future vacation - went towards the laptop). 

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  • 2 weeks later...

It is interesting what kind of content is pushed out. Such as ABC Winter Fun and Games which right now the lineup is Celebrity Wheel of Fortune, The Chase and The Hustler. 

Watching Celebrity Wheel of Fortune and The Chase. Along with watching the re-runs of Celebrity Family Feud (I feel ABC might run a weekly episode during the summer) which definitely attracts the audience. Noting that if there is a strong audience, they can charge a lot more for advertising. The cost of production being minimal other than paying out the rewards (celebrity version, they donate the winnings to a select charity).

I also do love the trivia shows like Weakest Link, Masterminds and Jeopardy. 

Ken Jennings' last Jeopardy episode as host is February 19th. Starting January 4th and excluding US holidays and inauguration, it is roughly 31 taped episodes total. Ken can still be seen on The Chase and Masterminds if you want to see him in action. 

Mike Richards is the next host from February 22nd to March 5th. Then Katie Couric from March 8th to March 19th. 

Link here regarding the other upcoming hosts for Jeopardy: 

https://www.jeopardy.com/jbuzz/news-events/jeopardy-guest-host-schedule

It will be interesting how the next few weeks of Jeopardy will workout. The longest game show host is Bob Barker with The Price is Right at just over 35 years. Forgot which trivia show said it was Pat Sajak (still running) which is currently at 29 years.

We are all human and not perfect

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After much speculation, Hudson's Bay (a popular department store chain in Canada) has partnered with a newbie fintech (Financial Technology) provider called "Neo Financial" for the new Hudson's Bay MasterCard. This happened after Capital One Canada has terminated it's contract with Hudson's Bay and Costco Canada (more on Costco in Canada later) back in late 2020.

The bad news is - if people who have the Hudson's Bay MasterCard from CAP1C (FYI, CAP1C = Capital One Canada) and wanted to get the new card provided by Neo, they will have to re-apply. Regrettably, they won't be getting the similar treatment when CAP1C helped former Costco AMEX (American Express) cardholders in Canada to transition to the new CAP1C Costco MasterCard a few years ago. 

That case happened when Costco USA changed providers from AMEX to Citibank Visa advising Costco customers in the USA to re-apply for the credit card. 

Still with Costco Canada, I'm waiting to see who will "pick up the mess" for the former CAP1C Costco MasterCard holders. I'm hoping that another Canadian provider will continue the contract. So far, it remains to be seen. 

This reply was posted from my Samsung Galaxy S20

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11 hours ago, FutureHeartsJunkie said:

After much speculation, Hudson's Bay (a popular department store chain in Canada) has partnered with a newbie fintech (Financial Technology) provider called "Neo Financial" for the new Hudson's Bay MasterCard. This happened after Capital One Canada has terminated it's contract with Hudson's Bay and Costco Canada (more on Costco in Canada later) back in late 2020.

The bad news is - if people who have the Hudson's Bay MasterCard from CAP1C (FYI, CAP1C = Capital One Canada) and wanted to get the new card provided by Neo, they will have to re-apply. Regrettably, they won't be getting the similar treatment when CAP1C helped former Costco AMEX (American Express) cardholders in Canada to transition to the new CAP1C Costco MasterCard a few years ago. 

That case happened when Costco USA changed providers from AMEX to Citibank Visa advising Costco customers in the USA to re-apply for the credit card. 

Still with Costco Canada, I'm waiting to see who will "pick up the mess" for the former CAP1C Costco MasterCard holders. I'm hoping that another Canadian provider will continue the contract. So far, it remains to be seen. 

This reply was posted from my Samsung Galaxy S20

Retail credit cards are pretty lucrative especially with the interest rates they charge for unpaid balances. At the same time, it definitely will be interesting how the mess will be cleaned up.

You would think they could transfer the portfolio of balances and cardholders to the new provider, but I guess they aren't interested. In case of a bad account, it would be hard to collect on the balance in some cases. Since some people pass away or manage to ignore it completely. 

Haven't shopped at The Bay in a very long time. Once ordered an item since my local Shoppers Drug Mart didn't carry a certain fragrance. Which was a prestige brand and only certain retail channels sold the specific product due to their restrictions on distribution. I think it will be interesting how it will move forward. 

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Disney's Star platform just came out attached to their Disney Plus subscription. Sometimes, it feels like there is so much content on the one platform, but only so many free hours available to watch and catch up. Especially with The Simpsons, Family Guy and 24 including Live Another Day. 24: Redemption isn't included (I remember seeing the feature film while it was available on Netflix).

Paramount Plus (rebranding of CBS All Access) is coming out March 4th for the US and Latin America. More info on the platform comes out tomorrow. I remember when I subscribed to CBS All Access just to access all the episodes from the CSI franchise (CSI Las Vegas, CSI: Miami, CSI: New York and CSI: Cyber). Noting that the CSI franchise was popular back in the 2000s at one point CSI amassed 28 million viewers. Something that is hard to replicate today with regular television shows. 

It is interesting how the companies are moving to a subscription based model along with the access on multiple devices while on the go. To be honest, it is better than having to purchase an entire season and that adds up a lot if it will ever be watched too with the limited storage space digitally or storing a hard copy. 

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A proposal to build an e-sports venue in Toronto. With the approximate cost of $500 million and expected to be finished in 2025 assuming funding commitments and approvals for the site and building. Being handy since it would also be multi-purpose for conventions and concerts. 

I won't deny that e-sports gaming has grown in popularity over the years. Especially trying to build the infrastructure to appeal to different markets. Hopefully the audience will be there since considering how they are looking to build facilities like this. 

https://www.theverge.com/2021/2/22/22295177/toronto-esports-arena-overactive-overwatch-call-of-duty

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16 hours ago, GTAmissions1 said:

A proposal to build an e-sports venue in Toronto. With the approximate cost of $500 million and expected to be finished in 2025 assuming funding commitments and approvals for the site and building. Being handy since it would also be multi-purpose for conventions and concerts. 

I won't deny that e-sports gaming has grown in popularity over the years. Especially trying to build the infrastructure to appeal to different markets. Hopefully the audience will be there since considering how they are looking to build facilities like this. 

https://www.theverge.com/2021/2/22/22295177/toronto-esports-arena-overactive-overwatch-call-of-duty

Coupled with the new Ontario Line Metro Line (I use the terms "subway" and "metro" interchangeably - the acronym MRT counts, too), both of which will not only create jobs but other tourism opportunities too. 

Currently, the Exhibition Place Grounds are served by the Lakeshore West GO Train line along with the TTC buses and streetcar routes. With the new Ontario Line being proposed (at the time of writing), it would make commuting to/from the CNE grounds much easier. 

Speaking of the CNE, I heard that the event is planned to be back this summer. Only thing that is concerning right now is - how will the new restrictions play out. 

I bought a special box called the "CNE in a box" that features a few novelty items (if I remembered correctly) : a peeler, a bag of candy popcorn, a gummy shish-kebab and an atlas/road guide of all of the places across Central Ontario. What's more, that box features two (or even four) CNE Admissions Passes for the 2021 edition of the fair. Those passes are stored (printed) in my filing cabinet at home along with my e-mail mailbox. 

If the CNE does get cancelled again - time to kiss those passes goodbye. 

Changing gears, I wonder how this lady managed to win $500,000CDN:

 

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2 hours ago, FutureHeartsJunkie said:

Changing gears, I wonder how this lady managed to win $500,000CDN:

 

I remember Plinko on The Price is Right. Especially since they still manage to push an episode daily at the same weekday time slot. Considering that the highest I heard someone win on the Plinko game is $31,500. 

Bonus: Lottery winnings in Canada are tax free. Where as in the US, it is subject to state and federal taxes. Reading about how James Holzhauer (Jeopardy James) won around just over $2.46 million. Losing around $1.29 million in taxes (47.6 percent tax rate) being substantial. 

I can't imagine having to pay just over 53 percent on a huge lottery winning. 

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14 hours ago, PCC Guy said:

It's been exactly a year since I last rode transit.

<_<

Mines going to be hard to have an anniversary for  since last year was a leap year, I last used public transit on feb 29th, (I met up with a friend downtown to see a movie, haven’t seen her in person since then) 

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Asking for a friend: a friend of mine wants to ask how they can obtain what's called a "High School Transcript"? She's planning to do some online courses in the future and one post-secondary institution (couldn't remember the name) requires a high school transcript (or in the case of the Canadian Province of Ontario, an OSSD Transcript). 

She once contacted ServiceOntario (a government agency that offers services for drivers licenses, health cards, etc.) to see if they offered it but they replied to her that "they're not in that area of expertise" and advised have to contact their high school for other alternate options. She then contacted her high school and the school told her, "that's life." I had a though that her high school don't usually keep records of high school student transcripts. 

If she couldn't obtain that transcript, where she should go to? 

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Best Buy is reducing their workforce by 5,000 full-time store employees and replacing them with 2,000 part-time employees. In Canada, 750 positions are affected with 660 part-time. Considering that people like myself would rather purchase online if x item isn't in-store. Though to be honest, I would arrange for collecting it in-store. Businesses are always looking to reduce headcount where they can with labour being so expensive to operate noting their online sales increased by 89 percent over the holidays.

It is hard for retail to continue operating with rolling lockdowns and uncertainty. 

https://www.ctvnews.ca/mobile/business/best-buy-cuts-5-000-jobs-including-750-in-canada-1.5324869?cid=sm%3Atrueanthem%3Actvnews%3Apost&utm_campaign=trueAnthem%3A Trending Content&utm_medium=trueAnthem&utm_source=facebook&fbclid=IwAR0D9o1NpP85hXvXlvg7ulhKizvhcfipQHy0SSYIKvxuJ1rxRVV3MS9Snhg

36 minutes ago, FutureHeartsJunkie said:

Asking for a friend: a friend of mine wants to ask how they can obtain what's called a "High School Transcript"? She's planning to do some online courses in the future and one post-secondary institution (couldn't remember the name) requires a high school transcript (or in the case of the Canadian Province of Ontario, an OSSD Transcript). 

She once contacted ServiceOntario (a government agency that offers services for drivers licenses, health cards, etc.) to see if they offered it but they replied to her that "they're not in that area of expertise" and advised have to contact their high school for other alternate options. She then contacted her high school and the school told her, "that's life." I had a though that her high school don't usually keep records of high school student transcripts. 

If she couldn't obtain that transcript, where she should go to? 

If applying via OntarioColleges, they should provide an option to transmit the high school transcript to the post-secondary institution. That is what I did in my case since the high school I went to no longer exists. Those records were transferred to a different school. But it was the school board that issued the transcript. 

If applying through a different channel, then they have to contact the school board for the high school transcript. Reading your post the "friend" contacted the high school noting they only keep records for so long before it is transferred over to the school board. Student number during high school will be helpful. If it has been a very long time, they would need to provide the school and years attended to find the correct record.

School board is the best contact at this point. 

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15 hours ago, FutureHeartsJunkie said:

Asking for a friend: a friend of mine wants to ask how they can obtain what's called a "High School Transcript"? She's planning to do some online courses in the future and one post-secondary institution (couldn't remember the name) requires a high school transcript (or in the case of the Canadian Province of Ontario, an OSSD Transcript). 

She once contacted ServiceOntario (a government agency that offers services for drivers licenses, health cards, etc.) to see if they offered it but they replied to her that "they're not in that area of expertise" and advised have to contact their high school for other alternate options. She then contacted her high school and the school told her, "that's life." I had a though that her high school don't usually keep records of high school student transcripts. 

If she couldn't obtain that transcript, where she should go to? 

I had to get a copy of my high school transcript once so I've been around the block and can answer this - what your friend needs to do is contact the board of education that her high school is in and order the transcript from them.  It can probably be done online or the board's website will give a number to call.  Back in the day, I went to the Toronto board's office in the Scarborough Civic Centre and did it in person, obviously well pre-pandemic.  Anyways, this is a normal piece of business for the board's records office; people go back to college/university as mature students or take continuing education courses or join the military all the time and need copies of their high school transcripts so it's pretty routine.

The fact that the office at your friend's high school couldn't refer her to the board's records office is disappointing considering how routine this is.  The indifference of a "that's life" reply and don't care attitude shows that not much has changed in the public education system.

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I served an angel at work this week.

Unfortunately, our store's software only allows us to process one return order at a time. We've been hit by a barrage of people returning 20-30 items from many different online orders, so one return can easily take upwards of 30 minutes (my record is 45).

We had this nice old man come in with a few items to return, and he not only printed out his paperwork, making his order very easy to locate, but also highlighted the items that he was returning, making the whole process go quickly and smoothly. I thanked him for his consideration and he said that he understood things can be difficult for us right now and he wanted to simplify the process.

I'll NEVER get a customer like that again!!

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This month is Fraud Prevention Month. 

There are a lot of endless scams going on out there - from phishing e-mails, smishing texts or even those calls claiming that "there is an arrest warrant against you, this list goes on and on. 

The hardest hit are seniors along with those with disabilities (seniors or not). My mom and dad got these types of nuisances all the time. As for my dad, he has a Google Pixel 3a smartphone and it is equipped with a feature that automatically screens calls - with the help of the Google assistant! It's like having your own secretary (but in a virtual form!).

What's more, it even records a transcript of that call. It's not just limited to the Pixel 3a - almost all Pixel phones in the line have this feature as "standard feature".

I even heard that there's a way to adjust the number of rings - but on your landline phone. Typically, your home phone rings on average about 4 to 6 times. Some even extend to ring up to 15 times!

While that wouldn't necessarily "slow the scammer down", it would (unfortunately) hamper those to someone you trust (I.e. Your parents, your doctors, even the hospital or your social worker). Putting the number of rings on your phone to ring for an extended long period of time - is like putting "speed bumps".

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A thought that I had just thinked about just now - remember my thought (a while back) on how a black customer (named Lisa Calderon) got racially profiled at an Old Navy many years ago and the store accused that person of stealing (but in reality she didn't)? Another instance happened - but this time at a Wal-Mart in Canada. To make matters worse - it was a family involving her daughter (who was young). 


One of the store employees accused the family's daughter of stealing but the mother told them that she didn't steal anything. Suddenly there was a verbal fight between the store and the family and it was a traumatizing event. Now, the family is demanding an apology from the store and its call to retrain their employees on stopping racism as a whole (religious or not). 


I remember the time that I was accused of stealing at a music store (back in my teenager days around 2000) but in reality I didn't. At that time, I didn't have any means of complaining against a business or even where to submit such a complaint (that's before social media). I even threatened to boycott against the store (sadly back then, I didn't have any means on where to complain to as I was about 13 years old at the time). 

Judging on how these events (along with the protests in the past involving discrimination) influence, would it would be nice if all staff (teachers, employees, employers, etc.) be offered training (and re-training) on how to handle these instances and how to de-escalate the situation in safe way? 


Further reading: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/toronto-woman-walmart-employees-racially-profiled-family-daughter-stealing-1.5938533

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I just noticed that for those that have the PC Financial World Elite MasterCard, a minimum of $15,000 of annual spending is required to maintain the card or be downgraded. Most likely because there was a special requirement offered to existing cardholders that if a user spent $25,000 in the last 12 months prior to applying, they would be upgraded to the top tier card. 

Especially since it isn't the credit card company's rule, it is MasterCard that makes the decision regarding how their products are distributed and managed. World Elite is the top tier MasterCard in Canada which has high income requirements. $80,000 personal or $150,000 household which is pretty rare. 

To be honest, I think they really want only those that actually spend money and contribute to their bottom line versus those that are just milking the tier for the benefits. Since depending on the issuer for the World Elite card, some don't charge an annual fee and others do. Usually over $100 annually.  

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