… and driving.
So here I was last week, coming home from work along my usual route. I stopped at the Heron/Riverside lights and looked around me at the other vehicles. I really wasn’t to surprised to see that every one of the drivers were “heads-down”, furiously typing away or reading whatever was on their screens.
I have included a diagram below, for illustrative purposes. I have even given my intersection buddies cute nicknames.
I mean, I’m SURE whatever they were doing was vital and important. Maybe it was the latest post from Mashable. Maybe the newest trailer from Game of Thrones. Maybe they were discussing the effect of fracking on climate change. I really don’t know.
But I’m sure it was important.
Look, I’m not pretending to be the ideal driver who obeys every rule. I speed, for example. Not in residential areas, mind you, but my cruising speed on the 400-series highways is often over 120 kph if the conditions are OK.
But using a mobile device – EVEN IF PARKED AT AN INTERSECTION – is just plain old stoooooopid!
And I’m not big on bellowing for better police enforcement on something, but this is one completely asinine act that has to be clamped down on… soon.
Here endeth my rant.
trashee @ January 31, 2015
I predicted this about two years ago. Right here.
With the bottoming out of the price of oil and the related low dollar, it was inevitable.
And I bet the short pants in the PMO are beginning to regret their short-changing and put-downs of Canada’s most populous province. They have surely made good sport of that over the past several years.
The Grit spin-dudes should have the good sense to dig up some of these clips to use in a targeted Ontario ad campaign.
trashee @ January 13, 2015
… the participation in it by some of the world leaders takes the shine a way somewhat. If indeed the march was also in defence of freedom of speech.
– Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, who had several journalists jailed for insulting him in 2013.
– Saudi ambassador to France. The Saudis publicly flogged blogger @raif_badawi for “insulting Islam”. He’s due to receive 100 lashes.
– Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel, whose forces killed 7 journalists in Gaza last year.
– The Foreign Minister of Bahrain, 2nd biggest jailer of journos in the world per capita (they torture them to!)
– The foreign Minister of Russia? Seriously? Russia? That bastion of freedom of the press and expression?
A nice summary of those countries who routinely jail – or do worse to – journalists can be found here.
All I’m saying is that Parisians and the French have shown the world that they will not be cowed.
However, some of the leaders that participated in the march should have stayed home until they clean up their own houses… else their hypocrisy taints a very honourable event. (17)
trashee @ January 11, 2015
First, this morning, with the ouster of the Burglar of National Defense, Harper was clearly wiping the table of any “nuisance” that may dog him during the campaign.
Now, it comes to light that Harper will deign to meet the Premier of Canada’s largest province before the junior hockey game tonight; thus deflecting criticism that he has put partisanism ahead of a harmonious relationship between the two levels of government.
The Budget will come down. Harper will pronounce that Parliament has become unworkable (how he’ll make this claim will be interesting as he has a majority). Or, and more likely, he’ll use the falling oil prices and the looming (and made-up) economic crisis as a reason to seek a fresh mandate early.
One way or another, Steve will get this nasty election business out of the way before the Duffy trial is well underway and before massive layoffs in the oil-patch hit home.
You can bet on it. (116)
trashee @ January 5, 2015
Like any year, there were ups and downs over the past 12 months. However, 2014 was unfortunately just a bit more about downs, than ups.
On the positive side (cuz I like to mention good things first):
First, and most importantly, the kids are thriving. My eldest is working full-time in retail and had come to the realization that working retail kinda sucks. I’m hoping that this translates to post-secondary education in September. I’m proud of the girl for sticking with it even if “it” isn’t quite a lot of fun.
My now-11-year-old is growing into a brilliant and beautiful young lady. Although with this comes those wonderful preteen moments when parents go “WTF did I say?”. Her love for horses and all critters has remained and she seems quite serious about her riding. Though I know full well that this may end up in a second mortgage!
My youngest is batshit crazy. He really is. Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and all that, I suppose. He’s very extroverted but has a great focus when taking on tasks… Like Lego or homework. He is digging school and his grades reflect this. He started hockey this year and is LOVING it! And scoring his first goal was very special! He has already surpassed my career total.
No, no, no, I’m not one of those parents who thinks his kid will be the next Bobby Orr, but I do like this hockey Dad gig, for sure!
Second, the political fortunes smiled in my favour in 2014. Tim Hudak managed to hand the provincial Liberals another win. My brother was successful in his run for a seat on Parry Sound Town Council and two good friends were successful here in Ottawa. I wish all three of them the best in the coming four years and know that they will make their constituents proud!
And may 2015 see the barn down smack Harper on the butt as he leaves Canada’s political scene… and we start a new and more positive era with Justin Trudeau.
(Had to say it.)
Third, I continued with my volunteer activities and even notched them up a tad. My stint on the Board of Aladin Childcare will come to an end in 2015 after 6 years… time enjoyably spent. I continue to serve my kids’ school community as the Secretary of the Parent Council and work with an incredibly dedicated bunch of parents and staff!
And I was surprised and humbled to receive a United Way Community Builder award. I so wasn’t expecting such a thing but am honoured to recognised and am looking forward to the official award ceremony early in 2015.
Finally, I took on a new role at the Canterbury Community Association as its President after the previous one won a seat on City Council. This will be a challenging role but one I’m certain I will love. I am surrounded by capable and dedicated community members and am truly excited thinking what great things we will accomplish in 2015!
On the meh, sorta neutral front, was my work life. I’m very proud of the work I do and love most of the people I work with. As much as the current regime tries to demonise professionals like me and my colleagues, we continue to work hard on behalf of Canadians. Although I, and most of us, would admit that over the last few years, it has been very, very difficult to maintain our enthusiasm for our vocations. Morale has never been lower. But we do professionally soldier on knowing that it can only get better (?).
Now, on the downer side…
Health was an issue in 2014 like no year before. My Mom had a fall and broke her hip in June… she has fully recovered but it was worrisome as hip fractures at her age can be problematic. On the plus side, she was forced to quit smoking (apparently not allowed in hospital rooms) and has stayed off the killer weed ever since!
Staying on the fracture front, my wife broke her ankle quite badly in July, resulting in a surgery, screws and plates and a lengthy rehab period. Even almost six months later, it still gives her some trouble. Worst of all, most of the family summer plans were scuttled… Including a trip to Cuba which was scheduled for the day after her surgery. Ah well, we’ll make up for it next year!
On a very sad note, I also lost an uncle in 2014. It was quite unexpected and has been very hard on my aunt and cousins. I’m hoping they have a better 2015.
For my part, I cannot remember having a worst year, health-wise. First, I had a painful issue that required surgery but reappeared a few months later. Second, my high blood pressure hasn’t improved. But worst of all, it appears that I have a genetic blood disorder called hemachromotosis. It results in excess iron being stored in my body and there is a tendency to accumulate in my vital organs; the heart and liver being the most susceptible.
It can kill me… so not to be taken likely. I should have the genetic test results in early January and the treatment is, well, blood letting. Or, in modern terms, phlebotomies. But until I get my ferritin levels down to normal (20-200 – mine are in the 1100-1400 range), I’ll have to live with quite painful arthritic symptoms, abdominal pain and incredible fatigue.
But I’m confident I’ll be fine a year from now and will just have to get used to having blood drained from me fairly often… maybe I should invest in leeches? And after all, there are folks out there with FAR worse health issues than this.
It was a difficult year, yes. But, upon reflection, the positive stuff did balance out much of the negative. Still, I am looking so forward to 2015 and the excitement that only a new year can bring!!!
Happy New Year to all! (42)
trashee @ December 31, 2014
… in the Aviva Fund competition.
Hi all – PSA time: Clifford Bowey PS has moved into the Aviva Fund Semi-Finals! I like to think that our school community last year helped Vincent Massey win this competition – and a new playground!
Please visit the site and register and VOTE – one vote per day is allowed.
Spread the word and let’s help this very special school build a new accessible playground.
trashee @ December 4, 2014
I have already endorsed some of these candidates in past posts, but being that it is only a few days till E Day, I thought I’d go over some of them again.
Jean Cloutier will be a fine representative for Alta Vista on Council. Jean and I have worked together at the Canterbury Community Association for about 4 years. He and the rest of the Board has made this particular volunteer experience a positive one. He is extremely hard-working and he knows our community inside and out. Other candidates in the Ward have run good, strong and clean campaigns, notably Clinton Cowan and Hussein Mahmoud. I thank them for sticking their necks out there. Running for a political office is a very humbling experience but they have stood up for their community and should be thanked.
But Jean has demonstrated that he is a leader. He has taken the reins in the community and has guided good policies, initiatives and programs. He has set an example in the community through his leadership and have inspired others (like yours truly) to do likewise. I look forward to working with him in his new capacity as City Councillor.
Riley Brockington is a colleague and a former OCDSB Trustee who gave me lots of advice and motivation when I ran for OCDSB Trustee in 2010. He knows his community well and was a leader on the Board. His involvement on the Board speaks well to his ability to build bridges. Anyone who knows anything about the School Board knows that a variety of personalities and agendas are at work around that table, and he knows how to make them speak as one voice. He will do likewise at the Council table. He will serve well in River Ward.
In Somerset Ward, Martin Canning is your best choice. He is the former City Environmental Advisory Committee Chair and has been involved deeply in his community and the City in a myriad of ways. He is running a uniquely enviro and community-focussed campaign in Somerset. Martin is well-grounded and will work hard for the people of the Ward. He has a great team and he’s also a top shelf guy. If you’re in the candidate-rich Somerset Ward, You can’t go wrong by ticking the box beside his name.
I’d also like to nod my head to Donna Blackburn, who is running for re-election as OCDSB Trustee in Zone 3, Barrhaven-Knoxdale Merivale. Because my own Trustee in Zone 6 was more or less invisible for the past several years, I have turned to Trustees like Donna, (or John Shea or Mark Fisher) when I have had Board-related questions. She clearly cares and works hard for the schools in her Zone. I wish she was running in my Zone!
Plus, I wish Jim Marshall, all the best in his quest for a seat at the Council table in my old home town of Parry Sound. He is a man who exemplifies integrity and hard work… The folks in P Dot will be well-served. (225)
trashee @ October 24, 2014
After watching the municipal campaigns in Ottawa unfold thus far, it is becoming increasingly obvious that the defining issue is leadership.
Pro green bin or not (I pity the fools!), love Phase 2 of the LRT or scrap it, raise taxes, lower them or keep them the same, what really sets out one candidate from another are the leadership skills that each one brings to the table.
To give a glimpse of what we will see tonight in the already-recorded Alta Vista debate, the Citizen summed up the highlights. A piece of the text caught my eye:
“That is not leadership,” he (Jean Cloutier) said. “I have been working in the community for 20 years.”
Bingo. Game, set and match. Candidates like Mr. Cloutier have taken the leadership reins in the community and have guided good policies, initiatives and programs. They have set an example in the community by leading and have inspired others (like yours truly) to do likewise.
Other candidates, as sincere as they are, as knowledgable as they may be, simply cannot wear the leadership mantle that candidates like Mr. Cloutier can lay claim to.
There are other candidates in other Wards – incumbents and newbies – who have demonstrated the same commitment to be leaders. Riley Brockington in River Ward, Martin Canning in Somerset, Fleury in Rideau-Vanier and Hobbs in Kitchissippi are all leaders in their own right.
For Alta Vista to continue to have strong leadership in the community and at the Council table, Mr. Cloutier can be the only choice. (104)
trashee @ October 8, 2014
The outlook for the Liberals is bright as the 2015 election approaches. There are a number of very qualified and dedicated candidates or nominees lining up to clean our country of the CPC mess that is Harper’s legacy. I while back, I profiled Danielle Takacs and Karen McCrimmon as two strong nominees (Danielle has since won the nomination for Brant!) and today, I’m presenting another nominee that is in my back yard in the riding of Pontiac, QC : Cindy Duncan McMillan.
With her husband, Cindy owns and operates a family farm outside of Wakefield. In fact, I just recently bought part of a side of grass-fed beef that was raised on her farm – yummy!!!!
And she is also engaged in the importance of integrating environmental decisions into wider policy considerations. Her street creds on this are solid.
Cindy ran for the LPC in the last election in Pontiac and had a very, very good campaign. The problem was the timing. The “Jack effect” kicked in and the Dipper candidate unexpectedly upset Cindy. I’m of the opinion that this was one of those ridings where the NDP was going to win regardless of which qualified candidates were running against them. These things happen in politics sometimes.
But Mulcair is NOT Layton and this riding should be a prime pick up for the Liberals next year. And I think Cindy will deliver on this if she receives the nomination.
She has proven to be hard-working, resourceful and is a mighty nice person to boot! I have met her in person and have done the back and forth thing via email and I’m pretty good at picking out those folks who have a positive attitude – a joie de vivre!
And it is infectious – I met her for the first time when she dropped off the beef at my house and she immediately struck me as a person who takes pride in what she does and works hard to complete what she starts.
The Pontiac LPC riding association and members would be wise to choose Cindy as the candidate for the next election. She will colour the riding red, as it should be. (142)
trashee @ September 25, 2014