To The Pointwith Boris Bozic
Commentary, Opinions, Thoughts and Discussion on Current Events, Politics and The Mortgage Industry

0 Comments March Break

Article written by on the 13 Mar 2015 in Personal

I was in Vancouver this week for a quick trip, and I had to ask the cab driver where all the traffic was?  He responded, March break.  Ah, that makes sense. That logic applies to every city in Canada, with exception of Toronto. Toronto’s new Mayor declared war on traffic in early in January, but it now appears that the battlefield combatants are suffering from battle fatigue. Slowly but surely Toronto’s traffic patterns are going back to “normal”, in other words, not moving.  So it was a nice treat to dive around Vancouver a couple of times with no traffic congestion.  I was actually thirty minutes early for all my meetings.  Building in an extra thirty minutes in travel time is a result of conditioning.  Nevertheless, it was nice to get be on a road where traffic wasn’t snarled and to be reminded that March break is here.

I suspect we all have our own individual signs of hope, meaning spring must be coming.  It’s been a chilly winter in the East, and signs of relief are welcome.  In fairness the temp’s have normalized in the East, which means more people may be going out to look at properties, which is great all around.  I have two signs of hope, the beginning of Major League Baseball spring training, and the Masters Golf tournament.  The timing is perfect, baseball spring training starts in March, and the Masters is always in April.  Seeing green grass, and people walking around in shorts, gives me hope that it can actually happen here.  And for those who can’t wait, and there is many in this country, it’s off they go to warmer climates next week. 

Like thousands of Canadian’s, (more…)

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2 Comments AIR MILES: I Admit It, I’m Addicted

Article written by on the 20 Feb 2015 in Personal,Travel

My name is Boris, and I’m an Air Canada Air Miles junkie.  It’s an insidious disease, an addiction that creeps up on you slowly.  But when it finally takes hold, you’re left with little choice but to succumb.  The addiction is so consuming that you end up making really stupid decisions – like booking a flight from Toronto to New York, by way of Manchester, England, to earn an extra 47 points.  Sure, the flight is 23 hours long, but you’re and addict so time is irrelevant…and there’s an extra 47 points to earn!

 Simply stated, loyalty programs work.  Thus the reason we’ve seen a proliferation of these programs over the last 10 years. The programs are so prevalent today that I actually find myself saying “no thank you” to many programs, which is odd. Mr. Bozic, we would like to give you free stuff, and my answer is “Nah, I can’t be bothered”.  There’s an explanation for that thought process, some things are just not worth the effort.  There’s a big difference between free fast food and a free flight. I have to hand it to Air Canada, when it comes to a loyalty rewards program; they’re good, really good.  It’s a shame that doesn’t always translate to great customer experiences.  (more…)

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0 Comments Merry Christmas

Article written by on the 24 Dec 2014 in Personal

Another year draws to an end.  I keep saying to myself that I should keep a journal to capture the events that happened throughout the year.  I know it was busy, I know a lot happened, and I also know that I’ve forgotten a few things that have happened.  The days, months and years sometimes become a blur.  This is the time of year to take a short breath, share time with the family, forget the madness which is taking place in the world today and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

And to all that have taken time to read my blog, my sincerest thank you. I wish you all a Happy Hanukkah and a very Merry Christmas.  Who knows, maybe Santa will bring us all a successful and serine 2015; I certainly hope so.

We’ll chat again in the New Year.

Until next time,

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3 Comments Jury Duty – Day 3

Article written by on the 27 Nov 2014 in Personal

My internment continues, and I’m worried about the psychological impact.  Desperate times call for desperate measures,  I reached out to Amnesty International and asked them to take up my cause.  They hung-up on me! That’s…just…rude.  In my desperation I even contacted Greenpeace, and to my horror they refused to intercede on my behalf.  My plea “look, I get I’m not as cute as a baby seal, but maybe it’s time for guys to start thinking outside the box.  Who knows, it might lead to more donations,” fell on deaf ears.  Is mankind devoid of any compassion? Rhetorical question, based on my experience I think we all know the answer to that one.

I’m thinking of reaching out to all my brothers and sisters in the mortgage industry to support me in my time of need.  As a sign of solidarity, which would lift my spirits immeasurably, it would be nice if everyone wore a yellow ribbon until I was released.  Of course you wouldn’t have to ware it after 4:30pm because that’s when I get to go home.  Frankly, waring a yellow ribbon while I’m at home tonight watching the Leafs versus Penguins or Raptors versus Hawks, on my 65′ flat screen TV, would be, well, silly.

A gentlemen from the jury pool approached me this morning to introduce himself.  For the purposes of this blog I’ll call him George, because that’s his name.  A mutual acquaintance forwarded my Jury Pool – Day 1 blog to him, assuming he was in in the same jury poll, and suggested that he looks out for me.  So he did.  We laughed, we cried and we both stared out the window, green with envy at all those who are free to go about their day.  I said to George, “I will never take my freedom for granted again”. He said, “Boris, we brake for lunch in 45 minutes”.  George, is my rock.

11:28am – Do my ears deceive me?  Someone from the courts is making an announcement to the entire jury pool. He just said we’re free to go for the day.  But wait, there’s more. This guy is milking it, wouldn’t be surprised if he said, “I’m here till next Tuesday, try the veal”.  Praise Jesus, he just said our services are no longer required, period.  We don’t have to come back, and we won’t be called to serve for at least three years.  Of course we have to hang on to our summons in the event the government screws up – what are the chances of that happening? – and sends us another summons to appear before the three years are up.  The original summons will act as my get out of jail card.  My jury journey has come end.

A heart felt thank you to all the staff at MERIX. You were there for me in my darkest hours.  I will never forget the marching band that you arranged to have greet me at the foot of the court house stairs, and escort me on the long 750 meter walk back to my office. I Never Stopped Believing -

Until next time,



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0 Comments Jury Duty – Day 2

Article written by on the 26 Nov 2014 in Personal

The shackles of civic duty is becoming more difficult to bare with each passing moment.  I’m alone with my thoughts, actually there’s another 150 people in the room but I don’t care about them because all they do is get in the way of a good story.  Back to me, oh the inhumanity of it all.  Being forced to sit around, do nothing, and just wait. I want my freedom, and I just made a decision to go on a hunger strike until I’m freed. I will only eat if If one of two things happen, and in no particular order.  Firstly, I am dismissed or chosen to be on a jury, which will then permit me to leave so that I can go back to making the world a better place.  Two, we break for lunch.  

12:08pm..Hunger Strike Ends.  My compliments to the chef at Burger King.  The Double Whopper Combo was magnificent.  The recommended beverage pairing? Diet Coke.  Simply superb.  I have been working on my girlish figure some six months now so I have to be mindful of the calorie intake.

A dear sweet elderly lady in jury pool has become the unofficial liaison between the court and the entire jury pool. Her updates are frequent and poignant. She notified us that none of the trials on the court docket this morning required a jury.  So we sit and wait, and then we wait some more.

3:45pm, new update from the unofficial liaison.  She informed us we could be going home shortly. Less than five minutes later the court announced we could leave for the day, but must return tomorrow by no later than 9:30am. Damn, she’s really plugged in.

Until next time,

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0 Comments Jury Duty

Article written by on the 25 Nov 2014 in Personal

In theory I think everyone agrees that jury duty is a time honoured civic responsibility. Jury duty accords citizens to have direct involvement in the justice system. Being a juror is an enormous responsibility, and if selected to serve you are legally bound to do so. There’s no excuse for not serving, unless of course you receive a summons requiring that you to take part, which may result in you actually sitting on a jury. Well, that’s exactly what happened to me, and my initial thought was probably not unlike most people’s, “how do I get out of this?”

Once the initial thought passes, but it never really completely goes away, you start to deal with practical matters rather than theoretical. Example, the timing. I was summoned to appear on Monday, November 24th. Not optimal given that it was day one of the CAAMP Mortgage Forum in Montreal. I was in Montreal for the weekend festivities, but come Monday morning I was on a flight from Montreal at 5:30am, and in the courthouse in Toronto by 8:45am. I arrived tired, but what I soon found out made me cranky, really cranky.

Jury Pool – Day 1

There I was in a room with 150 other perspective jurors. Before long, a gentleman working for the courts, enlightened us on procedures and what to expect. He asked us if we read the entire summons? Of course I didn’t read the entire summons. Upon receiving the summons I was aggravated, and I just looked for the date that I had to appear. Well, if I had read the entire summons I would have learned that I have a legal obligation to be part of the jury pool for five days. Unless I was chosen or excused, I could be there from Monday through Friday, 9:30am to 4:30pm, with no per-diem! Once the shock wore off there was only one thing to do. Search google for how to get out of jury duty. I came across an interesting article in the Huffington Post, by Peter Worthington, co-founder of the Toronto Sun. If you would like read the entire article here’s the link. To capsulize, he told the Sheriffs Office that he knew serial killers, and stayed in touch with them for years after he reported and covered their crimes. He was summarily dismissed from the jury pool. Okay, here’s my problem, I don’t know any serial killers and I have never corresponded with any. I know what you’re thinking, that’s odd. So I’m going to have to be creative. If the Judge asks me if there’s any reason I couldn’t sit on a Jury, I’m thinking of responding as follows; “well your honour, eight out of the ten voices in my head say don’t shoot…I’m sure we’re going to be okay.” Or if he asks me if I could convict someone knowing they could spend the remainder of their life in prison, my answer might be; “hell yeah. As matter of fact your honour if you want to be bring back capital punishment I say getter done. You kill someone in Toronto, I say we kill them right back”. Just spit-balling.

Finally around 3:30pm we were notified that we could go home. Reminded that we all to be back the following day, by no lather than 9:30am. So, the experience continues.

Until next time,


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1 Comments Bright Lights

Article written by on the 10 Oct 2014 in Business,Canada,Current Events,Merix Financial,New York City,US Politics,World Business Forum,World Events

Just coming back from New York, and I’ll spare you the cliché.  New York – bright lights, the city that never sleeps, blah, blah.  All true, but the bright lights I’m referring to is a select group of loyal supporters of Merix Financial.  We  had the pleasure of hosting a number of mortgage brokers in New York to attend the World Business Forum.  The event is held over  two days and attendees at the conference are leaders and executives from around the world.  The lineup of speakers have diverse backgrounds and experiences.  It’s the diversity of the speakers which provoke thought and critical thinking.  The two day event allowed all of us to exit the echo chamber that we all find ourselves occupying.  That is a critical element of professional development.  Thought provocation forces you out of your comfort zone.

Our invited guests embraced the opportunity to listen and learn from speakers whose subject matter expertise may have appeared to have only a subtle correlation to their daily actives.  But, they came open minded and prepared to see where the experience takes them.  I got a big kick watching our guests as the event evolved.  Here was a small group of people who for the most part were strangers to each other or know by name only.  However, in a short period of time small micro groups were formed to talk about issues that each individual faces each and every day at work.  It’s remarkable how quickly trust was built among the group, and it was a safe environment to say “I got a work problem, and I don’t have an answer”. Assistance and suggestions from peers was immediate, and no one held back for competitive reasons.  I can’t tell you how cool it is to watch a team come together. Make no mistake, this is a team.  As of today they know they can pick up the phone and reach out to one of their peers from across the country to help them solve a problem.  Sometimes business can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be lonely.

In my humble estimation, the event was a success, and here’s why.  First and foremost, our guests wanted to be there.  That was demonstrated by their support of Merix to ensure they were invited. Also, our guests are all focused on building a business, and not just a job. That’s an important distinction. Secondly, Merix set the right expectations.  It was learning first, party second.  Don’t get me wrong, there was time to have fun.  Like the night we all went to Madison Square Gardens for a Fleetwood Mac concert.  Our seats we on the floors and we were swept up by the music and the New York audience.  Even though there was bit of a “generational” gap for some of our guests, all danced, had a few libations, and allowed themselves to be swept up by the event and the masses.  But come 8:30 am the next morning, all were ready to begin a new day.

An extraordinary amount of time and effort is put into planning one of these events.  I can never really be sure if our guests will find a benefit in attending, while leaving their business for a few days.  After the wrap up dinner we hosted on the final night, one of our guests sat next to me and gave me a book.  She wanted me to have the book because she thought I would enjoy the read.  She mentioned that she wrote a note on the inside of the cover but asked me not to read it at the table.  She said she didn’t want to become emotional.  I smiled and said I would respect her wishes.  After three hours of the book being by my side, I finally made it back to my hotel and I read her note on the inside of the cover.  It was heartfelt, genuine and so sincere.  It was right then that I knew the effort in putting this event together was worth it.

So to Gerry, Tim, Scott, Shawn, Karen, Richard, Brenda, Tracey, Sandy, Paul, Sarah, and Elisseos, if you don’t mind…let’s do it again.

Until next time.


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2 Comments Home Renovations: A Mile in their Shoes

Article written by on the 08 Aug 2014 in Personal

Greetings from the tardy blogger –  My blogs haven’t been very consistent lately due to “stuff happens”.  It’s been a summer of family health issues, and a massive home renovation, which is almost completed.  With respect to health, all is well.  Easy for me to say; I wasn’t the one going under the knife, enduring pain, and now beginning physiotherapy.  Happy to say full recovery is around the corner.  As for the second distraction?  Entering the unknown – insert the theme music from the motion picture Halloween – a home renovation.

There’s an old saying, ignorance is bliss.  Numerous people over the years have shared their home renovation survival stories with me.  And when I hear those stories my inner voice always said the same the thing “it wouldn’t be that way for me… I know better”.   Truth is I knew squat about enduring home renovations.  There’s always a gap between theory and reality; when it comes to home renovation it’s not a gap, its chasm, the size of the Grand Canyon.

Here are few things that I’ve learned about any kind of home renovation-

Creating a dream master bedroom, bathroom, basement, loft over the garage or a complete renovation, requires a good dose of cynicism.  When the builder says it will cost “X” amount, immediately add 30%. Trust me, if you do this the hyperventilating you will experience will be somewhat minimized.  Please note I said minimized, and not eliminated.  Also, whatever timeline you have, automatically add another 50%.  Example, our builder gave us a range of 6 to 8 months to complete our renovations.  As of September 1st, it will be 11 months, and counting.  And finally, if you do a complete Reno, you are the General Contractor.  The reward for doing that is you don’t get paid but you get the pleasure of paying everyone else.

 I’m sure by the end of the renovation process I’ll say, “it wasn’t really that bad, and it was all worth it”. But until then I feel like a marathon runner who can see the finish line, but is trying desperately to fight through leg cramps to finish the race.  I’ve learned a lot going through this process, and if I do it again I would do a lot of things differently.  Did I just say “if I do it again?”  Clearly I suffer from R.E.A.D.D, Real Estate Attention Deficit Disorder.  One thing for sure is that from now on I will have a lot of empathy for anyone going this process.  From now on when I drive through my neighborhood, and see a couple standing of their front lawn staring blankly at their construction site of a home, I just may stop and give them a hug.  And simply say, “I know…I know”.

Until next time,


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1 Comments King for a Day

Article written by on the 18 Jul 2014 in Personal

Come on, who among us hasn’t imagined being a King, Queen, dictator, despot or Vladimir Putin for just one day? Oh, the wrongs that you would right when you’re in that frame of mind. I like to play this game when I’m angered, annoyed, frustrated or just plain grumpy. Funny, when you want to go all Vladimir Putin on someone it’s rarely for good. I don’t ever recall saying to myself, “If I was King for a day I would save all polar bears”. Nah, when I wish to be supreme ruler for a day it usually has to do with retribution and ensuring that whatever just happened doesn’t happen again.

Staying with the roads and transportation idea, I like to play King for a day game when it comes to cyclists. Especially when it comes to cyclists who think they’re surrounded by an electromagnetic field, making them immune from pain when they come into contact with a moving car. I’ve never been hit by a car while riding a bike, but if I was to guess, I think it would hurt. So when I see cyclists who do not respect the rules of the road I say to myself, “Self, if I could be King for a day I would mandate that underground tunnels be built for all cyclists, but they would have to pay for all construction cost”. Once again, I would be a compassionate and an understanding king. No money to pay for it? No worries, here’s a’s nothing more madding today than attempting to navigate around Toronto in your car. There isn’t a street which is not being worked on, making driving incredibly frustrating. Now if you’re saying, “It wouldn’t be a problem for you if you took public transit”, you would force me to play the game. If I was King for a day I would make it illegal to utter such statements. People who do so would be punished by having to give people a piggyback ride to work. I would be a kind king – duration of punishment? Only one week.

I like to play the King for a day game when I’m flying. When I see a mom dragging her three screaming kids and enough luggage that barely allows the plane to take off from the excessive weight, I immediately start to squirm on my throne. Without a doubt they will sit in my row or just behind me. Sidebar, if passengers with children get to board first because they need more time, why doesn’t the opposite hold true when it comes to time disembark? Where was I? Oh yeah, children flying. Look, I would be a benevolent king. I wouldn’t make the kids sit in cargo, or ban children less than twelve years from flying… the following conversation with a child would also be frowned upon:

At wits end passenger: Hey Satan…err – I mean…precious child – can you please stop kicking the back of my seat? No eh? Okay, where are you flying too?

Precious Child: Calgary, to see my grandma.

At wits end passenger: Change in plans, kid. Wake your comatose mom up and tell her to text grandma that she’ll have to pick you up in Winnipeg. And when you’re finished doing that, grab your parachute.

In my kingdom there would be no room for sort of conversation, as a matter of fact it would make me very cross – punishable by a firm noogie. Once again, I serve all my loyal subjects. I would mandate that all airlines must provide a handful of children free flights. Go ahead airlines, charge a premium for those flights. Heavy is the crown.

As the game relates to the mortgage industry, I immediately start playing the King for a day game when I read an article in the National Post. A rating agency, Fitch Rating, is calling for further government intervention to cool down the real estate market, because according to Fitch, the Canadian real estate market is 20% overvalued. Who can say with any certainty if they’re right or wrong? It’s an opinion, one we’ve all become accustomed to hearing. So, if I were King for day I would proclaim one day of the year as Canadian Real Estate Apocalypse Day. One day a year all economists, rating agencies and talking heads would head outside – if they see their shadow, six more weeks of bad news; if they don’t see their shadow, shhhhhhhhhh. And I would make Canadian Real Estate Apocalypse Day in July or August when no one is paying any attention. Hope you’re enjoying your summer!

Until next time,


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0 Comments The Winter That Will Never End

Article written by on the 14 Mar 2014 in Canada,Personal,Travel

It seems that everyone I talk to is suffering from winter fatigue, and looking for a respite.

Well, it sure as hell feels like that.  Canadians are known for their climate infatuation, and we spend a great deal of time talking about the weather.  “Is it hot/cold enough for you” etc.  Somehow, some way…it always gets back to the weather.

But this year, even the most pragmatic among us, those people who are always reminding you that extreme weather conditions are a part of living in this country, are spending time trying to book a vacation and escape.  It seems that everyone I talk to is suffering from winter fatigue, and looking for a respite.

I was talking to my travel agent this week and she indicated that she’s swamped.  With every new blast of sub-zero temperatures, with predictions of yet another snow storm, her phone ends up ringing off to hook because people want out.  It will be interesting to see the stats provided by the tourist bureaus in California, Arizona and Florida with respect to Canadians vacationing in their states this year.  Throw in Mexico and the Caribbean, and I would be willing to wager there’s a significant spike this year of Canadians looking for relief in warmer climates. This winter has been been brutal!

It’s March break in Ontario, and like thousands of others, we got out of Dodge for the week and headed to Florida.  Even with all its quirks and peculiarities, Florida is a great place to visit.  Sunshine, warmth, and all the amenities of home. What’s not to like?  Okay, so their beer is nothing more than flavored water, but it’s an easy hardship to put up with. If it comes down to shoveling the driveway, scraping ice of the car windshield, putting on twelve layers of clothing to go out and get a coffee, I’ll gladly inhale another American Coors Light…it’s refreshing and yummy.

Hopefully we’re in the last stages of the winter from hell. That’s a bit of oxymoron. If you’ve had the chance to get away,  good.  If you haven’t, what are you waiting for?  One final note, for all those who live in Ontario, and complain about the heat and humidity in the summer, remember: February is just around the corner.

Until next time


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0 Comments A Lesson in Ethics

Article written by on the 21 Feb 2014 in Personal,Travel

I believe, maybe naively, that the vast majority of people conduct their personal and work lives in an ethical manner. Adherence to ethical standards is a byproduct of life experiences, and our ethical standards shape who we are. But even ethical people sometime make decisions that one could construe as being unethical.  So can you be ethical on a selective basis? I don’t know the answer to that question but I came across a demonstration of ethics that made me ask myself if I would have done the same thing.

After the noise died down, he quietly said to the dealer, “you just paid me on a hand that I didn’t win.”

It happened last weekend, in of all places, Sin City, Las Vegas.  We went to Vegas to catch a few shows and maybe place a wager or two. I’m not a big gambler but if I’m going to Vegas, I’m not going there to visit a museum.  My game of choice is blackjack.  I find poker to be far too cerebral, and you can spend a lot of time at a poker table not doing much.  Craps is fun game, a little difficult to learn at first but if you hear cheering in a casino you usually have to look no further than the crap’s table.  But a close second for fun can be a blackjack table.  Get a good group of people that know how to play, and want to have some fun, throw in a dealer that doesn’t act like he’s playing with his personal money, it can be a very entertaining evening.

That’s exactly the scenario we found ourselves in last Saturday night.  Everyone at the table was having fun, and for the most part winning some money.  It the middle of all the fun one of the players at the table did not collect his winning after a hand. The players that won were laughing and fist bumping each other, but this one player didn’t move.  After the noise died down, he quietly said to the dealer, “you just paid me on a hand that I didn’t win.”  He pushed with the dealer, meaning the player and the dealer both had a 20, and yet the dealer paid him a winning bet of $100. He indicated he couldn’t take the money knowing cameras record every hand. He didn’t want the dealer to suffer the consequences. Well, to say that we were all a little surprised by the player’s insistence that he could not accept the $100 would be a gross understatement.  My thoughts were clouded by the fact that I had just lost five hands in a row. So my first thought was, “buddy, the casino does well enough and it doesn’t need your help.”

A funny thing happened after everyone’s initial reaction; we all started pulling for the guy to win.  Everyone started to ask him questions, I guess to test his authenticity.  We found out he was from Schomberg, Ontario. The Yanks at the table asked me if all us Canadians were that honest. Ah…yeah…sure!  Thanks to copious amounts of Jack Daniels, they serenaded us with a rendition of Oh Canada.   It wasn’t bad, they got most of the words right. I’ll never know for certain if our playing companion from Schomberg is the real deal. Would he return a $10 bill if found it in the back seat of a cab? Would he submit a receipt to CRA as a business expense, when in fact it was for personal use? Did he ever cheat on a test or exam?  I’ll never know for sure. One thing I do know is that he left the table up money. A lot of money.  Maybe there’s a connection.

Until next time



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1 Comments 2014 – Here We Go

Article written by on the 10 Jan 2014 in Personal

It’s the start of the New Year and I can’t wait to get going. I mean really going.  It’s a tad difficult to burst out of the gates when your body is frozen stiff, ultimately numbing the brain.  It has been suggested by some that I suffer from brain “polar vortex” in August.  Clearly the musings of the deranged – I digress.  No denying its bone chillingly cold in many parts Ontario, Quebec, and a large swath of the U.S.  The weather has caused havoc for many in the east, and introduced us to new terminology.

The term “polar vortex” is being used to explain this surprising and brutally cold weather front.  The technical definition aside, I’m fascinated that meteorologists are suggesting that this cold front was surprising.  Interesting, weather fronts come as surprise but we can predict the earth’s temperatures fifty years from now?  Damn, that “polar vortex” sure was a doozy. 

Many in Toronto, including my mom and dad, we’re convinced they were under attack this week because of what sounded like gun fire. Police we’re flooded with calls about this mysterious noise.  Well, chalk up to good old fashioned “cryoseisms”.  Evidently it occurs in extreme cold situations where there’s saturated water, like your rooftop. The ice expands and cracks.  It’s loud and frightening.  It’s kind of like the noise you heard as a kid while walking on a frozen pond.  To be precise it was the noise just before you said “oh, $&@$”.  My poor parents, they woke up to this noise at 3am last week.  They awoke startled and disoriented; for a moment they thought they were at the Eaton Centre.

January 2014 will be remembered for the frost quake.  That’s what they’re calling it, a frost quake.  That’s a new one.  It’s now a term that will be used, at nausea in Ontario, to described really, really cold temperatures. As is typical of the center of the universe, we always come up with term which captures the uniqueness of our experience.  “You think it’s cold where you are?  Well, we had a frost quake”.  There really was no need to create a new term to describe the extreme cold.  My friends in Regina have a perfectly acceptable word for it already, Tuesday.

Until next time,


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