Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Green Dictum - Free Parking

(Hit & run blog)

I thought it was a little presumptuous but who am I to make such a claim? Here’s the story, before I get ahead of myself.

I was watching the news last night and got the low down on the enlightenment of the gubmint of Ontario. Seems they are earmarking some C$650M for eco-friendly vehicle development. A nice move I think.

Then the report continues with interviews and sound bites. And by the way one man, who seemed like a pretty big cheese, voiced what I’ve been saying all along: “we need bigger vehicles, because we still need to take the kids to soccer and we have families and stuff to carry and so forth, but made the emphasis should be on light materials and better fuel efficiency,” and so forth.

I am well pleased with the way this report is going.

Then the sting!

Some moron proposed that Smart cars be allowed to park downtown for free at the parking meters, since… well, since you can fit 3 of these things in a single regular parking spot.

First of all, if you can fit 3 of these in a spot, the spots are obviously painted way too big. I know a Smart is short, but it’s not that short.

Secondly, this would be an incentive to purchase a Smart to commute to the downtown core. I cannot be the only person to think it is ludicrous to encourage the purchase of a Smart for the sole appeal of, presumably, free parking.

And third: free for how long exactly? Until the next bylaw? How stupid do these people think we are? (Do NOT answer that! It was merely rhetorical.)

And my rebuttal? You see this one coming don’t you?

What about instituting free parking for motorcycles? You can pack, at least, three regular motorcycles (ie. not Goldwings) into a spot, for the same passenger capacity and commensurate fuel economy.

Furthermore, you can pack a lot more motocycle traffic per square foot on a street than you can Smarts.

And what about Mini’s?

- Hey jackass, if small is the criteria, then you had better bloody well own up to it!

And somehow, for some reason, I don’t think this will happen.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

When the Bitch Shows

(*Warning, heavy blog ahead*)

Depression, as with many life experiences, has a way of rearing its ugly head at the damnedest moments. I have been combating a series of depressive episodes since maybe the end of February. Actually, it’s been more like 42 years now, but the latest bout dates back five months.

As usual, I take it upon myself to drag my sorry ass out of it and into a new light, where sunshine and lollipops are canon fodder. The cool thing about it is: years of introspection have yielded a better understanding of myself and those around me. So the exercise is certainly valuable.

I’ve been recovering slowly in the past few months. I feel it has been slower than usual, although the hit itself wasn’t quite as intense.

My usual pattern is three or four days of dark misery, with recurring but thankfully passing suicidal thoughts, and as a bonus bright sunshine makes me physically ill. I tell myself that tomorrow will be a better day.

This time the darkness has lasted weeks on end, but not anywhere nearly as intensely as my usual hit. It is rather insidious since I don’t feel quite so bad I hardly think to motivate myself out.

It’s impossible to describe really. I guess it feels like I’m walking on a tightrope. I’m still moving forward, but I feel like a single false move will send me into the depressive abyss.

And it is tempting.

The urge to fight comes out through my warrior side, and keeps me on the wire. But if I was outright down, then my trouble-shooter side could recover me in three or four days and be done with it, at least for a little while. Choices indeed.

Now, as I am going through this, two very good friends of mine, completely unrelated to each other, are experiencing life confusion in one case and outright existential angst in the other. The former is 19 and, the latter is 39, if I remember correctly. I would summarily explain this away as coming up on a decade barrier for each, but I’m not so damned sure.

Maybe it’s something in the water, or in the air? The weather maybe? Or maybe it’s in the socio-political status of our culture? Economic doom looming? So many external factors that hold invisible sway over our lives.

Or maybe we’re all just tired. Tired of fighting with ourselves, fighting our inner demons, continuously shoring up our defences against our perceived inadequacies. It’s a game really, with self-confidence hanging in the pot, assurance the ante. Bluffing is our own selves, and bother, we cannot clearly see our hand.

Vision and clarity are required to evaluate what we have. Discovery becomes the lifeline. The plan comes later, but knowing we have one makes us feel better. It makes us feel in control. And that’s what it’s about.

The problem is that control isn’t the solution. Being ourselves and being true to one’s self is.

But who, exactly, the hell am I?

Well, I have been asking myself that question for many years now and working towards the answers. I have many adjectives and qualifiers, and some adverbs as well. I cherish them all and they make me feel better about who I am. Those answers I do not like, I get to change! Hell, I can’t lose! What a game, what a game! I’m liking this particular game.

In the meantime, I still feel down, but there is always hope… because I’m winning my game. Woohoo.

Now, how do I impart this wisdom upon my two friends?

Friday, June 08, 2007

Argh maytees!

My last post was my 100th, I'm so proud. So in due celebration, I've decided to lean towards canned humour for this one. I have no merit for this since I picked up the link from a good friend's blog.

Also, I saw Pirates of the Caribbean 3 last week, so it's all coming together!

Here are my pirating talent results, and as luck would have it, they are the same as my friend's! Great minds and all that...

You are The Cap'n!

Some men are born great, some achieve greatness and some slit the throats of any man that stands between them and the mantle of power. You never met a man you couldn't eviscerate. Not that mindless violence is the only avenue open to you - but why take an avenue when you have complete freeway access? You are the definitive Man of Action. You are James Bond in a blousy shirt and drawstring-fly pants. Your swash was buckled long ago and you have never been so sure of anything in your life as in your ability to bend everyone to your will. You will call anyone out and cut off their head if they show any sign of taking you on or backing down. You cannot be saddled with tedious underlings, but if one of your lieutenants shows an overly developed sense of ambition he may find more suitable accommodations in Davy Jones' locker. That is, of course, IF you notice him. You tend to be self absorbed - a weakness that may keep you from seeing enemies where they are and imagining them where they are not.

What's Yer Inner Pirate?
brought to you by The Official Talk Like A Pirate Web Site. Arrrrr!

Friday, June 01, 2007

Flyer Without

Peeve du Jour.

For years, nay decades, the places where I lived all got local publicity flyers, but never the Canadian Tire weekly flyer. This is my favourite publication in all of the known universe. How joyful bliss and nirvana was achieved when I moved into this house, in which I am living currently. For years I relished that which I could not have before, the wonderful and weekly Canadian Tire flyer.

Low and behold, in the last month or two, the flyer is nowhere to be found. I am immediately thinking that my very beloved Canadian Tire is cutting back on its marketing budget, to my great chagrin. Then I house-sit for my good mate across town and there, right there, in the little enviro-unfriendly white plastic bag that serves as a reservoir to my shopping addiction, lives, nay EXISTS, an ever so beautiful Canadian Tire weekly flyer.

I steal it.

Then I get home and savour the inadequate descriptions, the lousy, but fully coloured images, the faked sales. I am in heaven once more.

But then I think.

Wait a rock-pickin’ minute, these bastards are still putting out the flyer, but not to my neighbourhood! What wrongs have I done? Which evil have I perpetrated to be so cursed? Why me, oh Lord of Marketing? Why am I being punished so cruelly? I have shopped, I have bought, I have returned. Why am I damned thus?

Then I think some more.

Uh oh.

I did, once long ago, enter my own postal code while browsing the Canadian Tire internet site! (Which site if fucking useless by the way.)

My money is on these fuckers not sending the paper flyer to those who have registered their postal code on the internet. My neighbourhood is one of professionals and mostly tech savvy folks, at least that’s my guess. I’m laying odds that we have been electronically damned by the flyer Gods.

Damn it all to hell, I am once again, to go without my weekly fix.

And they call this civilization? Pul-eeze!

NoA: Canadian Tire is an institution up here. Until recently, we didn’t have Pep Boys or NAPA, nor anything even remotely resembling an auto-parts stores. Although a typical Canadian Tire is more akin to a hardware & general store than a real auto parts, it is nevertheless the place where most of us get our replacement windshield wipers, headlights and flashers as well as patio furniture, garden hoses, snow shovels, etc. By the way, they do sell tires as well, almost as an afterthought.