Walk in someone else’s shoes

I’ve been very fortunate to live in a location where I am able to commute to work using means other than an automobile. This has had the health benefits you can imagine from doing so for the last eight years, losing over a hundred pounds. The only weather condition that really hampers that resolve is rain. Once you get wet, you are wet for the rest of the day. Some of the other benefits that I am now recognizing is perspective.

When you’re walking on a sidewalk in -20C temps that is barely passable, barely cleared of snow you begin to question the motives of the people hired by the city to clear such infrastructure. I wonder how much the driver of the sidewalk plow cares how good of a job he is doing. If you spend most of your life using particular infrastructure (like driving your car on roads) but then are told to go clear some infrastructure that you really don’t use (like sidewalks or bike Lanes) how much do they care how good of a job they are doing? I would guess that they will care more for the infrastructure they use (like roads) than the infrastructure they don’t (like sidewalks or bike lanes).

I just read this article

Winter bike lane clearing not a priority for Halifax

Where a local #Halifax politician Matt Whitman stated, in defense of not doing a good job of clearing sidewalks and bike lanes of snow:

“…it’s important the city focuses on clearing roads for “the other 99 per cent of us to use.”

Well there lies the problem, because Mr Whitman does not use sidewalks or bike lanes, the importance placed on that infrastructure is very low. To think this guy wants to be Halifax’s next mayor is appalling.

Being someone who has driven an automobile to work, so fully understanding and appreciating the efforts applied to clearing roads and keeping them in a good state now wonders why the same care and importance can’t also be applied to sidewalks and bike lanes? In my mind all it takes is hiring people who’s job it is to clear and maintain such infrastructure actually be ones who utilize it.

Maybe as a condition for local political positions, in an effort to improve everyone e perspective on this, it be stated that they participate in all forms of transportation and in a more serious position than just for photos ops like the mayor’s yearly bike ride. Here is my suggested 4 year plan:

  1. Year 1 drive everywhere they need to go
  2. Year 2 be given a bus pass, utilize bus infrastructure to get where they need to go
  3. Year 3 be given a tax-payer funded bicycle and use that to get to wherever they need to go
  4. Year 4 walk/bus everywhere they need to go

Any one person who can say they have done anything like this would in my opinion be more than worthy of a mayoral role in this city. Mr Whitman and Mr Savage for that matter are not worthy imo.

Responsibility

If we all took responsibility for ourselves, life would be easier and interactions would be less wraught with hurt feelings.

#Fakenews

What is NOT #fakenews? Do we really know anymore?

Before tv we relied upon newspapers to deliver the only thing we knew to be news. When tv arrived, news came from tv AND newspapers and no one questioned it. Now we get information off the internet and the word “news” means something different but we all ingest this new information the same way we used to interpret reading the newspaper. That it was reliable, fact checked and to be the truth.

Now we get purposely written information that has been designed to persuade you, to trick you, to lie to you and we are losing the desire to care that it might be fake as long as we get it presented in a manner that we like or think we trust.

Maybe this is a good thing. Where the internet has made our world smaller along with not being able to discern what is true news or not, highlights that maybe we should only be worried about what is close to us, that we can possibly consider fact checking. Local news. Word of mouth news. News that you see, then share?

It all just makes me sad and to have a skeptical eye for everything we hear and see betting presented to us as “news”. What is next for us? If we get so used to seeing #fakenews all the time, will it really matter if the truth is really being presented to us or not?

Let’s have some #fakenews to show us how fake our news is and how our ability to distinguish has been greatly diminished, enjoy:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/viral-science-video-fake-news-lesson-1.4747295

Mr. Magoo

Mr. Magoo, Mr. Magoo, what do you do?

I have been slow to realize, that as you age your attention span as well as your tolerance for the inane, diminish. Greatly!  I have succumbed to this.

Mr. Magoo was regaling us with his old war stories of his youth of which he couldn’t be any further from and I can almost confirm, since I’ve heard them all before that he remembers them differently each time he decides to share. The unfortunate thing now is that even though the conversation was not directed at me I found myself going cross-eyed just listening to it. His voice goes mono tone and he somehow is able to expel it all without any shred of variance. No change. No rest. No excitement, just full on, absolute live action boredom.

I don’t consider myself a rude person but this conversation had to be interrupted. There is no conversation going on though because if you try to interject your opinion he doesn’t hear  you. He needs hearing aids and doesn’t have them in! He can’t hear any of your attempts to change topic or anything!

I ended up resorting to allowing technology to force the interruption. I asked someone to call my better half. She was being polite. Nodding her head but she needed rescuing. My plan worked out well. She left to talk on the phone, I left to take care of some business then things were once again right with the world.

Tooth-Brushin’ Man

I work in a building with 20 or so floors, we’re on the 5th. Everyday, at the exact same time and even multiple times throughout the day, some guy, from some other floor, wanders up/down to the 5th floor just to brush his teeth.

I don’t know why he does this.  Is he afraid that the people on his floor are going to see him and think him weird and he doesn’t want that impression to take hold, because they might be coworkers so he comes down to the 5th?

I think he’s weird.  Not just because he brushes his teeth multiple times during the work day but that each time he spends at least ten minutes doing it.  Then, when he is done, he takes some paper towel and dries his tooth brush thoroughly.  He must go through tooth brushes on a weekly basis.

Is he afraid of his teeth not being their whitest?  Is he afraid his breath might not be the freshest?

Everyone in our office has noticed him.  We all wonder from what floor he originates from.  There was talk of creating a CIA type of spy device that we could secretly attach to him so that we could track where he goes.  We all speculate that he must be married to a dentist or is often criticized for having smelly breath or funny-coloured teeth.

A thorn between 2 Mikes

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Halifax Garbage collection, my views

Here in Halifax, some new garbage handling proposals have been made (see details here: http://www.halifax.ca/recycle/contact.php).

UPDATED/EDITED

It is my understanding that because it has been determined that we are filling up our garbage dump too quickly that we must reduce the amount of garbage that we put in to it. It has been decided that to do this, we must: Create a garbage police; make them enforce clear bags usage only; only accept 4 bags per every two weeks (currently it is 6); Make people recycle more, by: Removing full access to what can go into the green cart; make people buy paper bags for recycling yard waste; not accept grass clippings and box board (in green cart, that they want to take away?);

The only way to help with the amount of garbage put into the dump is through education, using communication means that are acceptable in this day and age (ie through social media, perhaps…). By knowing what products are readily available in this area and what is and isn’t recyclable and by letting people know this, is what can and will help reduce the intake at the garbage dump, NOT by enforcing reduced limits.

Here is a letter I sent to my municipal councillor Gloiria McClusky (mcclusg@halifax.ca, @DartmouthG)

My name is Xxxx Xxxxxx, I live on Xxxxxxx Ave, in your district. I have been reading up on the proposed (approved?) amendment to our garbage collection. If the idea was to reduce the amount of, or how quickly we fill up our garbage facilities, I believe this new by-law will fail to make any significant difference, but on a positive note, here is what it will accomplish:

– It will make our garbage handling people the new “garbage police”

– Clear bags will make the “garbage police’s” job much easier

– reducing the number of garbage bags that people can put out will only make the “garbage police’s” job easier, less work.

– removing grass/yard clippings from being allowed in the green bin will only frustrate and infuriate people who have no other means to deal with such things.

– Removing the green carts all together and make people pay for paper bags who btw may be on a fixed income to accommodate such items will only make people angry at people like you for allowing such ideas!

I am very frustrated by these ideas. I for one don’t want a garbage man to determine what I should or shouldn’t be putting out to the garbage. I pay to have my garbage picked up. I paid for those damn green bins, i pay for them to be picked up. What more do you want out of me? Maybe the people involved here should have their annual pay increases dealt with in instead of making the people whom they supposedly represent, pay for this stupidity.

If the garbage facilities are filling up too quickly then what needs to happen in more education on how to recycle. Allow more items to be recycled. Educate based on what products are available in this area. If you can goto the grocery store and find a product whose packaging is not allowed to be recycled, then you need to tell people about it. You need to show them what can and can’t be recycled. The more people know about what can be recycled, the more they will recycle.

Education is the key here, not the removal of, and the policing of our garbage/recycling programs. The use of social media will help with education. Something must be done here, this is not acceptable.

Please acknowledge receipt of this email within the next 3 days, so I know my views have been heard by you. It is important to me to know this.