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Archive for the ‘Social & political commentary’ Category

Morals 2.0

While preparing for a new Toastmasters speech assignment about telling a story with a valuable lesson, or moral, I listed a number of candidates among currently well-known axioms.  I’ve finally narrowed this down to one around which to build my own fable.

However, when one considers the way many clichés are constructed, they leave room for alteration, or new perspectives considering our increasingly diversified society.

To wit…

  • When life gives you lemons, make lemonade – why restrict this to lemons, or assume receiving lemons is pejorative?
  • You can’t teach an old dog new tricks – doesn’t this ignore the potential of other pet species?
  • You should look before you leap – shouldn’t there be a warm-up period first?
  • Know which side your bread is buttered on – what about new spreads available as alternatives to butter?
  • Every cloud has a silver lining – is there some way to harvest this precious metal?
  • The handwriting is on the wall – is it signed and dated, suitable for framing?
  • Actions speak louder than words – but what about words that come in parentheses?
  • An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure – shouldn’t a metric version of this be around by now?
  • It’s what’s in-side that counts – would modern scanning techniques necessarily agree with this?
  • The more things change, the more they stay the same – is the reverse also true?
  • Opportunity doesn’t knock twice – doesn’t this discount the impact of social media?
  • A rising tide lifts all boats – so, what are we supposed to do at low tide?
  • Too many chefs spoil the broth – given the ingredients of many broths, shouldn’t some of the chefs be focused on healthier options?
  • Walk softly, and carry a big stick – so, what size stick should one carry if walking quickly or with purpose?
  • You can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube – how sanitary could this ever be?

A fabulous ‘no prize’ can be had for guessing which cliché I chose.   

A Glossary of Modern Urban Potholes

A combination of highly unfavourable freeze/thaw conditions and less focus on roadway maintenance has resulted in the worst springtime driving conditions in Canada’s capital city in recent memory (i.e. 35 plus years).

It should be noted that this has not only been impacting vehicles with four, or more, tires.  For those of us who like to bicycle, moped, or in some cases even just walk, the circumstances range from unpleasant to daunting in too many places.

The variety of cuts and holes in paved areas has become so voluminous that a category of names is being established for them.  Here are ‘popular’ ones in our region:

  • Aqua crater, a hole with depth up to 10 cm which frequently fills with water and so can provide a hidden dip in proceeding
  • Old rail, as in an imbedded metal sensor showing through crumbling surfaces at intersections
  • Road tube remnant, namely indentation formed by tube counter smashed from volume impacts
  • Cut groove web, as in where pavement at vehicle intersection stops is worn down
  • Reptile cut, with a spine look, which incorporates a hodgepodge of revealed sensors or tubes
  • Cave in, where a soft surface hides vulnerable, undercut asphalt
  • Line of insanity, which is displayed as several metres or more of continuous breakage
  • Danger dodge, which means little reaction time to unexpected locations encountered with little warning
  • Gauntlet, as in having to navigate through a range of cracks both to the left and to the right
  • Trap, as in little reaction time to craters where there is only low to zero margin of error in avoiding
  • Manhole, occurring around manholes, as cracks around them starting to create a widening circle of crumble
  • Depression, as with reaching an appreciable, unavoidable drop
  • Patch-on-patch, as evidenced frequently subsequent to road maintenance patching efforts which become a quilt of unevenness
  • Rivulet crack, as a long, thin stream acting as discomforting accompaniment
  • Bumping up, referring to fill-ins which rise above the roadway, creating turbulence felt physically

It may be that one has to crack a few eggs to make an omelette, but pavement cracks are harder to swallow.

 

Socially Correct Holiday Season Slogans

Let’s put out to pasture the term ‘political correctness’!

Not only has this expression increasingly fallen out of favour based on its accumulated baggage, built on decades of use, but the word political doesn’t stand up anymore as encompassing enough to cover the inexorable intrusion of social media and expression.

Therefore, let’s henceforth categorize any relevant references under the theoretically broader, more modern term of ‘social correctness’. (more…)

Where Can I Get a GPS Tattoo?

We have become party to a panoply of leisure travel destinations, embellished by baby boomers entering the retirement lifestyle mode in ever-greater numbers.  With this comes the need to satisfy an ever-widening array of interests or concerns, while communicating with a range of cultures.

There is an abundance of information in both printed and on-line forms, not to mention anecdotal tips one may encounter.  Books in full size to pocket size offer flexibility and quick access for travelers on the move, who do not want to be dependent on connecting devices.  (Of course, many younger trip takers prefer the latter.) (more…)

Reserved Seating Not Needed Here

Our most recent taking in a movie, at our local cinema house, exposed a new wrinkle in the ticket buying experience.  Notwithstanding that my spouse and I were attending a less than half-filled show in the afternoon, we had to select our seats in advance, like choosing concert or airline tickets on a laptop screen.

Apparently, this has become de rigueur at least at some local screens in the last month or so.  One would have thought some warning or notification, if only for public relations sake, would have been justified. (more…)

Facing New Developments

Many of us have memories about tracts of land encountered over the years.  They looked natural, bucolic, perhaps even dreamy – largely because they were undeveloped.

Numerous city boundaries are examples of once-upon-a-time urban/rural landscape divides, where, subsequently, developments have caused diffusion of transition points; the ripple impact keeps expanding, so as to permanently blur any clear sense of dividing lines. (more…)

TOP 10 Election Aftermath Realities

Among the truisms of government elections, and candidates’ behaviours, are that many of them are predicated on massage or sublimation.

Such as in the afterglow of Ontario’s provincial election June 7th(more…)