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scooters

Banning scooters from streets…

It’s about time that someone pushed this issue up a flagpole!

I don’t always agree with Councillor Clark, but the issue of scooters on city streets should at the very least be studied by city staff and recommendations put forward. There is going to be a tragedy one of these days and it would be a shame if the City simply sat on their collective hands until one happens.

Yes, I get that scooters are a great thing for residents with mobility problems. Without these mortised devices, many would be shut in their homes and completely reliant on family and social services to get around.

And I also understand that some City sidewalks are in pretty dire need of repairs and the scooter-ability of said slabs of concrete is somewhat difficult.

But…

These devices are not suited to street use from a safety perspective. Pure and simple. I am a frequent user of St. Laurent Blvd. around the Elmvale Mall area. The sidewalks are wide and in good repair. Yet, it is not at all unusual to see a scooter or three pumping right down the street. And, for those of you who are not familiar with the area, St. Laurent is a very busy 4 lane divided main north/south artery.

One older gentleman has an annoying habit of powering his scooter right down the middle of one lane and giving the finger to anyone who honks at him!

Look, these things don’t have lights, move at a very slow speed and are difficult to spot at times.

Should the City be looking at those sidewalks in need of repairs and upgrades? Of course. But they also have to do the responsible thing and look at either regulating or banning scooters – at least in high traffic areas. Someone is going to get killed and a vehicle driver is going to have to live with that for the rest of their lives.
responsibility

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Here’s a pet peeve.

People on motorized scooters, on busy streets, when there is a sidewalk available are a hazard to themselves and others.

This was taken on St. Laurent at Walkley in Ottawa.

And no, I didn’t take the pic while driving. I handed my phone to my 8-year-old to do it.

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What is middle age?

Middle age – I have never quite understood where that begins and ends. The term is often used to denote the years between, say, 45 and 60. Or 40 and 55.

But if it is a term that is supposed to denote the “middle” of one’s life, then, given modern life expectancies, anything older than 40 or so is a little unrealistic. I seriously doubt that most of us envision seeing our 90th or 100 birthday cake – unless it is served by ol’ Mr. Death.

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So, if not a temporal term, what does “middle aged” mean?

  • It has a physical connotation.

Many of us note that, upon reaching our 40’s, the girth of our “middles” becomes much harder to predict or control. One’s belt size increases by leaps and bounds if left unchecked. And even those who are saintly about their diets and have an exercise regime that would make a UFC fighter blush still struggle to keep the inches off their torso.

In the past month, I have made a real effort to watch what I eat. Yeah, right – I watch that bagel go from the platter to my gaping yaw. But I have been hitting the gym for an hour FOUR TIMES A WEEK! True, I have seen a bit of progress and my biceps are tighter than they’ve been in years. But I’m still in my size 38 jeans and feel that I’m about 25 pounds over what I should be. Sigh.

And I find that my travails are not dissimilar from others of my vintage.

Unless you’re one of those freaks with the metabolism of the Tasmanian Devil who can eat all you want and do zero exercise and STILL fit into your size 32’s. Yeah. I hate you all! You suck.

  • You are in the middle of your career. Or the upper middle if you’ve kept your nose clean.

By the time we hit 45 or so, many of us have a pretty good idea about where we want to spend the next 15 or 20 working years. No harm in staying at the position and the level that you currently occupy – but some see the brass ring and throw their considerable weight into grasping that damned thing and riding it off to the world of executive washrooms and really boring meetings about stuff like “strategizing” and “enriching competencies”.

In the public service, you can move from one of the working level classifications to be an “EX”… standing for Executive. Or Exhausting. I’m not sure which is true.

And in the PS, there are no perqs associated with being an EX. MUCH more work with marginally better pay. Yet, if ou have passed those middle years and have not jumped to that exalted state, well – ya probably won’t get there in this lifetime.

  • Your opinions become more “middle of the road”.

I know a lot of middle-agers like this. They have mellowed. More grey than black or white. More white bread than multigrain. More Julia Roberts than that chick from L.A. Ink.

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More – well, you get the picture.

Happily – I’m not like this and seriously doubt I will ever be.

This middle-aged guy is gonna stay on the upslope as long as he can. I don’t like the notion of becoming something I despised as a teen. Though that is likely already too late.

Well, I don’t think any of the above is what I would consider to be “middle-aged”. For me, it is a state of mind rather than a set of years, the size of your waistline, the state of your career or your tendency to sell out to “the man”. I despise the thought of getting old. I don’t even really like old folks. They can’t drive worth a crap and they often stink to high heaven as they run around in those motorised scooters.

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Me, I’m staying generic – no age applicable. And until my kids put me on an ice floe, that’s where I’ll stay, thank-you very much!

Hmm, maybe it’s time for another tattoo?

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