Sunday, December 26, 2010
In eight grade; heading down the stairs at the south east corner of my school, in the afternoon, on the way to biology or math class; I was thirteen - just hitting puberty; Shirley Hallam, who probably meant well or meant nothing.
In the context of what is currently in fashion, (at least, it is rumoured, among men of colour) my moaning about a large butt may not make sense for some people. For me, the size of my backside is no less horrific and traumatic than a red wine stain is for others - those disfiguring large red birthmarks that cover some people's facial skin.
Shirley, who was my best buddy in eight grade, certainly didn't mean to be the one to spark that awareness of my body, an awareness that, from the moment on the stairs, has left me highly conscious and embarrassed of my backside. She just noticed - out loud - that it was larger than the average butt. I suppose, at age 13, I might have weighed 105 pounds or may be 110 but I wasn't a big kid.
Later in my life, after I'd had my first child, I lost a LOT of weight and weight. was small. I wore a size 4. 117 pounds; that's what I weighed at my first wedding. I'm 5'4" so I wasn't model skinny but being a bit muscular naturally, I was pretty slight. But people still mentioned the size of my butt.
After I'd had all my kids - I think my youngest was possibly eight - I still weighed 117, (thanks to a serious and for a while un-diagnosed bought of 'beaver fever,'- more colloquially known as dysentery - and which one does still occasionally contract, usually from the taps in public washrooms, thanks to people who take a poo, wipe but don't wash: news flash; rinsing your dirty mits under cold water does leave your fecal matter on the taps. Thanks a lot.)
Despite being very small at many times of my life, including the three years I was a gym rat and was very fit and very muscular, I've always had a larger butt than apparently the general public thinks is appropriate. And the general public - total strangers - is as apt to comment on it as are my family members, although the comments from my family members are by far more insulting and cutting and regular than those of strangers.
I remember Shirley's comments and how suddenly, as I descended those stairs, I became very, uncomfortably aware that I was not like other girls and that my 'unlike' was not desirable. I got an immediate and distinct impression my butt was something I should do something about.
The reality of my body's shape has haunted me - and I mean with every ounce of the fear and discomfort and misery - for more than 30 years. I dream about my body shape - not nice dreams: dreams of being disgusted by myself. I dream about taking a knife to my body and I think about that when I'm awake too.
About 10 years ago, I took a very scary-for-me step and approached a plastic surgeon about my 'deformity.' The surgeon is well-known in my city but what I didn't know is that he caters to only a certain wealthy clientèle. His calling card is the guaranteed that whomever he takes on as a client will leave perfect.
I wasn't going to support that calling card. It was obvious from the outset he had no intention of helping me - he didn't see me in a proper examination room but in another room that was obviously a reception room for people who were waiting for friends or loved-ones who were having day surgery.
He laughed at me when I told him what I wanted done, said it would leave horrible scars but did not realize the scars that I already have and how deep those are. He said, as he felt down the length of my ribs, "There's not much too you, but yes, you have larger-than-normal buttocks. What the hell is 'normal,' anyway???
I already felt stupid and a fraud coming in to his posh, exclusive office. Those feelings were more enhanced when I left. I stopped at the desk to arrange a second appointment but the reception staff wouldn't raise their eyes to look at me. The last thing the older, very perfected woman said to me as she shuffled my file to the back of her desk, was "We'll call you if we have an opening."
I haven't had that call yet.
As I've aged - I'm approaching 50 - my body has done the expected and gained weight. I understand this is, in the female body, a means of preserving estrogen, the disappearance of which is the beginnings of obvious old age in women. In my case, thanks to my unique body shape, I gain weight in the butt. I wear a size 10 jacket and a size 14 pant, the waistbands of which ALWAYS gape with easily five inches to spare.
I'm not sure what people expect me to do every time they remind me that my backside is big. I KNOW it. I realize they're uncomfortable. I realize that I'm not a tiny women back there. But what exactly does their reminding me serve to accomplish beyond hammering home over and over and over again that I am, in terms of what is considered beauty in 2010, essentially deformed?
I am edging again towards surgery, which is, I know, a painful and very expensive option. I do realize that much of my discomfort comes - came originally - from outside myself. I have, despite knowing better, internalized my pain over my appearance to the point that I'm now nearly too embarrassed to go to the gym, which I pay every month for regardless of whether I go or not.
I know that going to the gym won't change the fact of my body shape. I know that even if I were to lose 30 pounds and become a 110 pound bone rack, I will STILL have a too-large backside, according to whatever the supposed standards of 'ok with everyone' are. I also know that I wish I had the willpower and control of people who have anorexia (which is not a disease as much as the extreme limit of 'control freak.') but even then, I KNOW that I would STILL have a big butt for my size, even if I weighed 90 lbs.
I guess it must make people feel better or allow them to shift focus from their own flaws to point out mine. Where it comes to my family, I really, really don't get it. They know my body shape is a constant source of embarrassment for me; they know I am conscious of it all the time, waking and sleeping, yet they bring it up, often weekly. Why? What purpose could this possibly have for them?
I just want them to shut up. SHUT UP!
Monday, December 20, 2010
"Christmas" trees are PAGAN symbols, which we now decorate with crap produced by soul-less corporations.
"Christmas" is a repackaging of the celebration (by people who were scared of it and couldn't explain what was happening) of winter solstice.
"Christ" -which is not a name but a title, and a common one too - is a character based on another character - also not real - called Horus and on various other characters with similar pedigrees (godly dad, virgin mom). In short, been there, done that, still fake.
This is not to say that people ought not to be nice to each other or that they shouldn't have traditions that celebrate family and giving and peace and all that, but can't we just have those things rather than having to package them in the context of a myth that comes with a 'behave or beware' edict delivered by a man whose brutal torture and murder is replayed - for children - in every christian church? Seriously, isn't it weird?
Anyway, this: Thanks to @biblealsosays on Twitter for this link.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Dear US of A; Julian Assange is only a tiny bit of your problem. The fraudulent Federal Researve? Yeah. That's a biggie....
Just go read it all. I have nothing to add that I haven't already said.
The US is a huge, fraudulent corporation that assists other huge, fraudulent organisations to function. Democracy is an absolute myth.
They may be trying everything they can do to discredit Julian Assange at the moment but none of it will stick; none can stick. The reason is that as long as information is free and easily tranferable, by email, or fax or MSN messenger or Iphone or whatever instant communications method one choses, every bit of information will eventually come to light.
It isn't like the old days when stuff was only on paper and paper was behind locked doors.
I hope in my lifetime - no; in the next 10 years - to finally have the truth of Pearl Harbour and Vietnam released and that the bloody plots that were teh Oklahoma bombing, everything to do with 9/11 and those staged attacks in London and Madrid - will all be exposed as the false-flag events they surely are.
Fine, call me a conspiricist. Fine. Just don't go "geeze, wow" down the road when you finally wake up and realise that all plane crashes leave huge debris fields (except at the Pentagon and in US fields, apparently) and there's no way three buildings fall straight down into their own footprints, all on the same day, despite, in two cases, being designed specifically to withstand ANY type of crash/attack.
Bloody hell people are so gullible!
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
|Who is the real bogey-man?|
You see, in order to get a home, for example, a person must have established credit. According to most lenders' policies, a mortgage borrower must have at least two credit cards, which must have a spending limit of at least $2000 and which must have been in place for at least 2 years.
See the problem?
Here's the rest of it. If a borrower has great credit management skills and, for instance pays a decent sum on their cards - or pays them off monthly (AS THEY SHOULD), the credit card companies UP the borrower's spending limit, often without letting the borrower know until after the fact.
I know what I'm talking about, in case any one's asking: I've worked in finance - specifically lending - for almost 10 years. I personally have been a 'victim' of this practice. I had a credit card with a $2500 limit. After not many years - three I think, I happened to check the spending limit and what did I find? $25,000. Yes. Did they ask me? No. When I discovered my limit had been so vastly increased, I called them to cancel the card. They didn't want to lose my business, despite that I always pay my balances monthly so they agreed to terminate the annual fee and to reduce my limit back to $2500 (I had, at that point, never spent more than $250 on that card...).
Those looking for mortgages MUST have a credit history. There are lenders out there who will deal with people who only use cash but those lenders are few and their rates are higher - usually about 2% higher - so excellent money managers are penalized for using cash - which all good credit counsellors will tell you is the best way to manage personal finances.
The truth is that people who have three credit cards, which they do NOT pay off monthly, will have a far easier time of acquiring a mortgage than someone who has no credit and no debt. That is the fact.
If the Canadian government means to do anything more than talk about consumer indebtedness, it will have to deal with the card companies first, but also with lenders' policies for adjudicating mortgage files - and car loan/lease files and all other big-ticket item files.
Possession of credit is an absolute necessity in this country if one is going to buy a house or a car. It's a double-edge sword to be sure.
|The truth will out.....|
If you weren't sure how terrified the US is of any of its disgusting, corrupt, subversive, coercive classified information getting out, please see their treatment of Julian Assange for reference. Also note that Assange, who has, granted, leaked embarrassing stuff, is not the only leaker and hasn't leaked the most embarrassing stuff - Blackwater, etc., etc., and now this....
No matter that leaking information is a time-honoured journalistic tradition, it's only ok until one managed to acquire information that is too close to the rotted bone.
I hope that Assange, who is weird and who is a megalomaniac and who does alienate people, hasn't alienated everyone around him to the point that whatever else he's sitting on - and whatever it is that the US is so terrified will become public - doesn't become public.
I wish and hope and cross my fingers behind my back that Wikileaks and/or OpenLeaks will come across the information about 9/11 and what actually happened that day - whatever it is that happened - and about what happened in London on July 7th (the following year or so?).
The attached link (click the post's title to go there) is only one of the items that winds up on Wikileaks. Of COURSE the US government does not want the public to know its soldiers are raping boys - even if such rape is an accepted tradition!
Humans totally, totally suck.
Monday, December 13, 2010
Fer shit's sake....
I hope you will all reconsider what you're doing when you're handing money over to these dinosaurs.... they haven't stopped once in all their history to consider exactly what it is they presume to espouse. They haven't a clue what they believe in and they don't know 2% of what's in their so-called 'holy' books - if they did, they'd stop with the ban on what EVERYONE knows is fantasy and burn the bloody bible!
And on that note, I'd like to reprint a great article by Calgary writer, Jeremy Klausus, who is a grad of my university and who has recently become a delicious shade of edgy in his writing;
Here you go:
I know you're busy, but you know that shoebox program? The one intended to convert poor kids to Christianity? The one that benefits from tons of glowing local news coverage each year? The one you can't publicly question without being labelled a Scrooge? The one that you — yes, you — help support with your tax dollars — you knew that, didn't you? — thanks to the involvement of local emergency services (ambulances and helicopters!) that back the cause each year?
Yes, that's the one. Operation Christmas Child. Run by Franklin Graham and Samaritan's Purse.
Well, you might be interested in knowing that Samaritan's Purse trotted out none other than Sarah Palin to help give out shoeboxes in Haiti on the weekend. From CNN:
But don't worry, Calgary. None of this was political. Nasty reporters tried to talk politics with Palin, but she wouldn't have it. "The reason why I won't be answering questions is because we don't need to be getting political here today, okay folks," she said.
That's a relief, isn't it? Imagine if it had been political. That would mean that in addition to supporting Samaritan's Purse's missionary work, Calgary taxpayers would, in a roundabout way, be helping Palin in her endless quest for more, more, more publicity before the 2012 U.S. election.
And that would be kind of embarrassing, no?
Thursday, December 02, 2010
Such was the case today when I came across this hilarious, satirical letter written by a fun-loving, rib-tickling, thigh-slapping atheist. The issue in question was changes to marriage legislation in Illinois, where an "all-but-marriage" domestic unions bill was passed to the great chagrin of the baby-raping catholic church....
In his email to the (verifiably gay) pontiff, our friend, who calls himself Gen. JC Christian, patriot and assures said pontiff that he, Gen. JC Christian is indeed heterosexual and suggests that the pontiff's representatives in Illinois haul out the 'big guns,' being one foreskin.
Yes, folks, the big guns amount to a bit of dried skin alleged to be the foreskin of Jesus Christ whose own existence is utterly without proof.
|The holy, dried up, alleged foreskin of christ.|
The holy 'bit of bob' is now safely stored in a gilt-edged, glass tube and brought out at various high feasts and occasions now. I'm not sure how appropriate it is to bring such sausage casing out at a meal, given it's a bit off-putting and unappetising... . Read more on this story here, at Slate.
I should note here that the catholic church, which rule book is RIFE with idols and relics still clings to version three or four of the ten commandments (there's not just one set, you see; there is a bunch of revisions; even 'god' wasn't sure of him/her/itself with the first few drafts). - the part about not having idols and relics, seems, however, to not apply to the tubular leftovers.
I'm never sure how they get around their own rules but get around they do.... They do deserve some congratulations, however, for being inclusive; seems the catholic church, by engaging in penis worship (ok dried up bits of penis in their case) is channelling their inner Hindu - penis worship being a big deal (yes, pun intended) if you're a fan of Shiva.
Seems the catholic church not only stole the holy meat, they also stole the context by which they can worship said detached DNA...
I wait with great anticipation for the DNA testing...
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
James Barlow is not only a real person, he's a rare breed at Bell. He calls back; he actually knows what he's talking about; he replies with details - as opposed to the usual call-back asking for the client to repeat their problems; he tells the truth about what's going on.
The specifics are these: Two years ago, MRU established an association account for its alumni. Almost immediately, the person handling the association accounts abandoned their job; there isn't an account manager assigned to MRU either, so between the lack of anyone handling associations anyway and no AC for Mount Royal, the alums fell into the abyss... Bell has LOADS of those.
Barlow has called me by phone and has replied twice within 12 hours to my emails, all with answers to my questions AND value-added information in addition. He is also going to follow up with the appropriate people at MRU.
He has also provided the missing link, being the NODE number by which people can now actually GET a 'deal with Bell. Sadly, that's where things kinda fall apart. No fault of James's at all but what Bell calls a deal is not the same as what I and most consumers would call their offerings.
But, James did come back with a great deal from SOLO, so I'm going to have a look at that. I'm also looking at WIND, because $18 for unlimited talk and text AND call ID and message centre sounds pretty good to me!
Dear Bell Mobility. Mr. Barlow knows all about customer service. He should be your president.
Monday, November 22, 2010
THIS guy, is the extremely well-educated, two honours degree-holding professor, Richard Dawkins, who writes all sorts of excellent SCIENCE books that the above noted fantasy-believing types can't understand but about which they seem quite content to rant - and to send forward hate mail, takes it all in stride, as he should, while exposing these 'christians' for what they are: uneducated.
Ahhhh christians. Always doing yourself so proud.
Click here for more hilarious, uneducated and astoundingly stupid
One of the partnerships MRU has is with Bell Mobility. I already have a bias, having been with Bell since 2004 and having found that company's customer service shockingly, unbelievably poor. This is not only my experience, I understand; the gentle soul I spoke to at MRU today indicated that their dealing with Bell had been 'interesting' with the full text "utterly hellish" being quietly inserted between the lines. Given my experience and my well-developed bias, today’s events, while frustrating, were no surprise.
There is usually reason to give companies a second chance (or 20th...), as staff and policies change; one can always hope a company will see the light and actually put some teeth in their supposed commitment to customer service. Or that they will hire employees whose vocabularies extend beyond “Whaaah? You’re from Calgary? Where’s that?”
Last week, I clicked MRU's link to Bell’s site. It leads to this PDF: http://www.mtroyal.ca/wcm/groups/public/documents/pdf/bellmobility.pdf
It is pretty simple to follow, if not very detailed. However, the appropriate phone number and website are both there.... This is where I'll warn you that if you're not good at frustration, those communication points are going to give you a heart attack.
To the PDF; the number included - the option 4 - has a full message box; you can't leave a message and there are no reps answering (there may not actually be any reps) but the system generously offers to transfer you. However, in Bell Land, 'transfer' means 'cut you off.'
Ok, try option six, for 'any other accounts.' There, I spoke to a rep who became more and more confused as the call progressed. He did not understand that Bell's PDF was missing the information he was asking from me. "How am I supposed to know that information if it's not on your marketing?" I asked him, to which he replied "I don't know." His answer to "If you were me and you'd found this PDF and done what it said, and you got you, would you be frustrated?" was met with a change of subject....
Ok. Try customer service. Nope. They can't find any record, internally or externally for Mount Royal and, even though the website is clearly marked on this ever-less useful PDF, Mount Royal of any flavour does not appear in any search. Oh, and 'Please hold," for customer service also means "Goodbye" so prepare to call back if you haven't yet bashed your head in on your desk.
The PDF is, I found out, missing a key piece of information - something called a NODE number. This, as I understand it, is the only way to even get answers about what is on offer to Alums. If you don't have that number, they can't even tell you if they HAVE an offer for us. Apparently, even a 'yes' is protected by Bell's crazy internal privacy policies.
Speaking of privacy, the named account manger for the MRU account, one James Barlow, has a 800 number -- which is not available in 'our' area. ... Apparently, even though the man is an account manager, everything about him, including whether he even exists as a Bell employee, is protected under FOIP... I think this is crap, actually; crap that actually means, "I don't really know where to start looking for staff members and I don't know how to transfer a call."
Anyway, I called again and used the voice-activated system by saying “agent.” This last call in got me someone who actually really did want to help. I can take it the poor guy has only been there a month or two and has not yet succumbed to Bell's corporate culture (try to make their heads blow up before you actually help them, and please, see that you do that within our 4 minute call rule, OK?) He found out that there is actually no record of any agreement with MRU. This is not to say there isn't one; just that there's no record of it, despite that BELL has provided said PDF to say there is….
My new friend (I was actually ready to marry him because he was so willing to help and must be a man among men because help is on such short supply at Bell) admitted that corporate complaints does not actually have a phone number - hardly surprising considering the company would have to second as much staff as possible to answer those phones considering the probable volume of complaints they'd otherwise get.
There is a corporate complaints fax line but who knows where the fax is; could be in the middle of some junk yard somewhere in Alabama, a la CIBC.... He also said there's no number for marketing - as in the marketing department has no contact phone numbers... also probable BS but what can you do?
But, he did give me a land line for the mythical James Barlow and that line rang AND had a voicemail box with room in it. I've left a message with the possibly-real James Barlow to let him know how much fun I've been having for a couple hours this morning... If he calls back and has anything other than "I don't know," or "What's your NODE number," to add, I shall continue this saga.
In the meantime, one of the newer entries into the Canadian cell phone marketplace, WYND, has some really, really inexpensive plans on offer - $18 per month for unlimited calling and texting. Whatever Bell has on offer, I'm reasonably sure it won't be anywhere near that good – and don’t let Bell sell you on coverage; WYND uses Bell’s network of cell towers, so if you don’t have coverage with them that is ALSO Bell’s fault.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
I've been playing with Stumble lately and have been turning up all sorts of wonderfulness through that site. Love it. Go have a look. It could be called a time-waster but then so are a bunch of those first-year classes I paid $650 each for....
This is what turned up first for me today. It is a very simple recipe for living life based on the idea of:
The following is a description of each line as the Epicureans understood it.
Simple. Pretty much right. Who needs a whole ridiculous bible full of contradictions, death, rape and child sacrifice?
Friday, October 29, 2010
So here's what I know from a total of 8 minutes on the phone with Sustainable Resource Development - the arm of the government that, among its jobs, oversees hunting, fishing and wildlife care and preservation in this province.
- There are something in the range of 10 MILLION ducks in this province.
- 40,000 give or take 5000 are taken ANNUALLY by licensed hunters
- a similar number are killed in a whole variety of ways including by being hit by cars and airplanes and by being eaten.
- Of the ducks that went into the tailing ponds earlier this week, 90% were Scaup ducks - diving ducks - which were forced to land due to freezing rain and, because of their breed habits, look for water - not land - to 'land' on. Ducks are dumb. They don't know that some water isn't a good choice. That lack of reasoning ability on the part of the ducks, however, isn't Syncrude's fault.
The person I spoke to at SRD says that last year they personally killed 1000 ducks for purposes of determining the extent of bird flu.
No, the tailing ponds are not clean and no, they're not very healthy for wildlife but the TRUTH is that it is utterly ridiculous to think that drowned ducks in the numbers that have gone into those ponds is any kind of disaster. It isn't.
As you all know, I'm a conspiracist. I think that Syncrude has been tarred and feathered and that the media is complicit AND that investigative journalism is dead AND that the current slew of reporters isn't asking very good questions nor are they asking the right questions of the right people.
For all of you who live in this province and benefit from its very healthy economy - an economy that is considerably more healthy that that of the rest of Canada ( and Canada is in good shape as compared to Europe), quit yer bitchin'! Our prosperity depends very heavily on the fact that this province supplies a LOT of oil to a LOT of places - 1/3rd of the US oil supply comes from this country.
If the realities of living in an oil-based economy are that unpalatable to you that you not only don't ask your own questions, you also suck down the un-researched stuff you read in the newspaper, then this is not the country for you to live in.
As for asking questions, if you have an Internet connection and a phone, you are in possession of the exact same tools any journalist has; if you don't avail yourselves, you are complicit in any campaign of disinformation that the media chooses to host.
In case anyone is wondering where I got my info, I simply called Sustainable Resource Development and asked them about hunting licenses and what the annual take of ducks (actually all hunt-able fowl - 76,000 annually, approximately). No, there's no link here. That's because I'm bugged that people can't simply put "SUSTAINABLE RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT" - in that format - into Google and find out for themselves. That goes for reporters too....
Sunday, August 15, 2010
However, that one error left MLA for Calgary Buffalo and Calgary mayoral candidate Kent Hehr stranded at ground level and unable to join his colleagues on the stage. The organisers made no effort before hand or day-of to make the stage accessible to Hehr and nobody stepped up to help during the event.
Yesterday, with the entire slough of dignitaries and candidates on stage, Hehr was forced to stay beside the stage, on the ground and hidden from view, unrecognized by the MC and excluded from the ribbon-cutting ceremony and photos of the event.
This is a glaring oversight and a slap in the face of one of
The organisers owe Mr. Hehr a public apology certainly as do Mr. Hehr’s colleagues. It speaks VOLUMES about the other candidates and dignitaries that they did nothing at all to see that their esteemed college was not excluded.
There were PLENTY of able bodies up on that stage and had any of them had a thought beyond getting their mugshot done, they could have easily found a solution to Mr. Hehr’s forced dilemma.
It is embarrassing and a very poor reflection on such people that they so pointedly ignored the needs of a colleague; one must ask how that ignorance translates to the lesser-known who also have accessibility needs.
I don't ascribe any malice to any of them. I do, however, question how they could so blatantly ignore the fact that Kent was right there, below them all, while they were up on stage.
He is a colleague; he has been part of civic and provincial politics for ages and he had spoken yesterday, still from the ground, so they couldn't have not known he was there. I must say, the one comment I received so far today was of the "Wasn't Me," variety.
WHY didn't anyone think to make sure he had his deserved place on stage with his colleagues?
I hope some or all of the dignitaries and candidates who were on the dais yesterday will step up, acknowledge this oversight and make public apologies to Kent.
Friday, July 23, 2010
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Yes, folks, amazing as it might be, the city's bike/walking-path users have not all read my previous blog or, if they did, they did not heed the part where they were to stay off the paths if they didn't agree with my rules.
Case in point, a chavy blond (this would mean over-done, takes-herself-for-jersey-shore type) who chastised US when we nearly crushed her tiny, unleashed, hard to see black dog that ran onto the path in front of us... Us: 20k... dog: oblivious; her? FACKING stupid.
I shall say it again, in support of the newly installed signage, complete with RED STOPLIGHT and "NEW" in bold peppering every entrance to the pathway: YOUR DOG MUST BE ON A LEASH ON THIS BIKE PATH.
Except that I love dogs, I almost wish I'd hit it, just to prove a point. But that would be mean. There's some poor man out there who, when he is finally bored by screwing that bimbo, is going to realise just what an immense chavy bimbo she is....
Dudes: If your woman won't take care of her little dog by making sure it is safe from being hit by speeding bikes on the BIKE PATHS, she's stupid. Move on; save yourself the divorce costs....
Monday, July 12, 2010
My city has just posted a request for volunteers to contribute to pathway improvements - a great idea. Sad to say the city hasn't considered many of the probably thousands of recommendations they receive daily.
The comments below are expanded on those I've just posted to the comment board on the volunteer request page (this is the link to the page).
I am a regular user of the city's pathways. I bike. I have a speedometre; I wear a helmet; I have a bell and I use it; I always use my voice in conjunction with my bell (although neither is effective to signal my approach to those people who can't function without their ears stuffed with speakers and their music turned up full blast. Those idiots are reckless, safety-flaunting cads).
The reality is most pathway users are in DESPERATE need of education on HOW to use the pathways. So here are the rules and yes, if I could make these laws, I would.
Unless there is no alternative;
- pathways with yellow lines are for BIKES and SKATERS;
- unmarked pathways are for WALKERS.
STAY to the RIGHT! Yes, walkers, you too. Fine; your group numbers six people; they all must stay to the right. Try two-by-two.
This also applies to city sidewalks, malls, escalators, elevators, buses and the C-train (when entering and departing); if people would simply walk to the right, it would massively lessen congestion and confusion.
If you're on skates or a bike, SIGNAL your approach by using your voice or a bell. Don't just blow by people who may not hear you! "ON YOUR LEFT" or "PASSING ON YOUR LEFT" are the correct warnings. USE them.
Those of you addicted to in-ear music: if you're dumb enough to be on a pathway (or driving!) in moving traffic that you prevent yourself from hearing, you're probably going to at least be yelled at by someone who almost hits you and you're also likely to be injured when you meander across the line and you're hit by a biker or skater you couldn't hear coming.
Turn your music down and only use ONE in-ear speaker. For the record, earbuds/earphones are illegal when driving for exactly that reason; you can't hear what's coming.
When you hear a biker or skater coming MOVE RIGHT.
That would be the right that moves you AWAY from the centre line and TOWARDS the edge of the pathway.
You don't have to leave the path; just move to your right to give a moving vehicle the space they need to safely pass you.
It hurts to be hit by a bike travelling at 20Kms so don't be all pissy about it, just move right.
The speed limit is 20kms MAX; not 40 because you're in training (if you really were, you'd be on the road or on a track somewhere) or you're showing off how fit (but stupid) you are; or because you think you're more awesome than other humans.
If you don't have a speedometre on your bike you suck because they're inexpensive and useful; they also track mileage. Not having one doesn't make you sooo cool; it proves you're an idiot.
If you stop moving, get OFF the pathway! That's right. Simply step off to allow moving traffic to continue moving. It's like using your driveway or parking at the curb; it leaves the roadway clear, prevents you from being hit and shows that you're not a complete idiot like those six people stopped in the centre of the bike path up there....
And PLEASE make sure it is safe to stop. Don't just stop short! Pathways are transportation routes - meaning you have to signal lane changes, passing and stopping. Shoulder checking is ESSENTIAL!
Stopping dead without making sure it is safe to do so (because your body isn't equipped with signals and brake lights) means you're one of THOSE people who lives like they're alone on the planet or believes that everyone is always paying attention to them, which means they need treatment for narcissism.
Dogs and children MUST be under control at all times.
For dogs that means ON LEASH; for kids, that means they're within reach or holding your hand.
If I hit your so-cute, so-well-behaved, off-leash dog that just ran into the path of my bike (because you've conveniently ignored the DOGS ON LEASH ONLY sign), I'm not going to be sorry for you but I will be very sad for your dog - that it has a neglectful owner who didn't look to the dog's safety. "He's a good dog" is NOT a safety strategy.
Same for your children; if you're walking on a BIKE path and you're not keeping your children IN SIGHT and ON THE RIGHT, they will be hurt for sure. Grow up, be an adult and observe the rules that are in place to keep you and your babes SAFE!
If there's a walking path - and there usually is one about 10 feet away from the bike path - USE IT! You wouldn't walk your children or dogs down the middle of a busy street, so why would you walk them down a busy BIKE path?
If all this advice pisses you off, stay off the pathways because you are a hazard to yourself and others.
If this advice makes sense and you understand it will keep you, your animals and your children safe, congratulations, you may use the pathways.
Thanks for the soapbox
Thursday, July 08, 2010
I found the following article about lack of sun exposure and its devastating relationship to cancer and other serious health complications on Goop, Gwyneth Paltrow's site. I agree with about 90% of it, this part in particular:
"...I recommend moderate sunbathing... Vitamin D supplements provide the same benefits as sunshine (in terms of Vitamin D needs). But, if taken in too large a dose, they can cause Vitamin D toxicity, whereas sun exposure does not."
30 years of warnings - which can be traced directly back to manufacturers of sunscreen and their corporate financial goals - have left people sick, much more prone to cancers and, not mentioned here, MUCH higher rates of MS and who knows what blood-borne damage due to application of chemicals to porous skin.
Our bodies are excellently evolved to protect us from the elements first, but secondly to USE the elements to keep us healthy. From Wikipedia, this is the function of a tan:
"As a defense against UV radiation, the amount of the brown pigment melanin in the skin increases when exposed to moderate (depending on skin type) levels of radiation; this is commonly known as a sun tan. The purpose of melanin is to absorb UV radiation and dissipate the energy as harmless heat, blocking the UV from damaging skin tissue. UVA gives a quick tan that lasts for days by oxidizing melanin that was already present and triggers the release of the melanin from melanocytes. UVB on the other hand yields a tan that takes roughly 2 days to develop because it stimulates the body to produce more melanin. The photochemical properties of melanin make it an excellent photoprotectant.
Sunscreen chemicals on the other hand cannot dissipate the energy of the excited state as efficiently as melanin and therefore the penetration of sunscreen ingredients into the lower layers of the skin increases the amount of free radicals and reactive oxygen species (seriously?? does that sound like a good idea?)"
An article in the Seattle Times points to what looks like an obvious connection between lack of sun and MS.
"A growing body of evidence suggests [lack of sun exposure] can raise your risk of cancer, increase susceptibility to heart attack, diabetes and other disorders, and at least partly account for the region's sky-high rates of multiple sclerosis."
Sunburns are certainly not good for the skin but the sun itself - and the body's ability to tan and therefore 'metabolize' sun - is absolutely necessary and critical to a body's health. Responsibly taking the sun means that the skin will activate its highly developed protective feature - tanning - while allowing the body to process vitamin D in a radically more accessible way than by taking supplements, which can easily be consumed to toxic, damaging levels.
As I've said before, if a product - vitamin D, sunscreen, drugs of many types - comes with expensive TV advertising or similar 'push' campaigns, it is suspect.
Paltrow says in her newsletter that not only was she ill enough to check in with both her western and eastern doctors, she was discovered to have the lowest amounts of vitamin D they'd ever seen. She also admits to being what I'd call phobic about staying utterly out of the sun. She is the poster-girl for who sick it can make a person to buy in to big pharma and its little buddy the sunscreen peddlers.
Go outside, get some sun and yes, get a tan. It IS good for you. READ ON.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
God Is Imaginary. Some people need to be convinced of this. I don't know why intelligent humans feel the need to live in fear of an invisible 'guy' and why they think that stuff written by very unscientific, untravelled tribesmen 2000 years ago is a relevant way to live a modern life, but need they do.
I will assert - with proof if necessary - however, that most religious people know very little about what they say they believe, know almost nothing about their religious texts (I'm referring mostly to the christian bible here, having little experience with the Q'ran, but that too because it is ALSO crap), and have no answers for the questions us supposedly uneducated atheists/humanists/free-thinkers put to them. Except that most of us can quote their bible at them until their empty heads spin....
This really fun blog does exactly that; it quotes directly from the christian bible and then points out exactly how the christians themselves prove their 'god' does not exist.
Have fun. If you're sensitive to having the proverbial crap kicked out of what you think you believe, get in there, read and rebutt. But please, take a comfy chair; that's a big ol' corner you're about to paint yourself into.
After you're done reading that stuff, read this so you can know how absolutely terrifying christian minds are. Shite Fundies Say
Monday, June 07, 2010
May I just say a gracious and heart-felt thanks to my immediate family, the religious and non-religious alike who, quite unwittingly, opened the door to my first questioning religion, leaving it and now standing firmly against it.
I make a point here which must not be lost: I said religion, which comes with fear, lies, and dogma, and which by its very nature is divisive and fosters me versus you: I did NOT say faith.
In my country, our constitution protects our right to - and freedom from - religion. Following on that, I believe that any time religion ventures outside its rightful place - in the home or the place of worship (and I mean to include it venturing forth in form of clothing or symbols as well) - it contravenes a fundamental part of our constitution; my freedom FROM religion and the rights my country confers on me to be from from religion and to never suffer discrimination for that freedom. Sadly, that is not reality as the religious feel it is their duty to call me names, belittle me and attack my intelligence and credibility.
That said, I am, I find, part of a growing, ever more vocal, educated, informed and supportive international group of individuals who are free from religion themselves but are at the forefront of a movement that requires religion and those to adhere to such fantasies to account for their beliefs and actions.
You can find me on Twitter at @writerwriter. You will also find Jim Gardner, @MovingToMontana, and his excellent blog, How Good is That?, and @ZachsMind. I encourage you to follow the atheists you'll find in my lists (on my Twitter profile, page right).
You will also find a huge resource of like-minded writers and individuals via Dr. R Dawkins site and through The OUT Project.
Monday, May 24, 2010
Friday, May 21, 2010
Now. For those of you reading this who say, "Well, the old testament isn't in effect any more," may I, heathen that I am, correct you.
See, the problem with 'believers' is that instead of actually knowing what they're talking about, they rely on marginally educated automatons who call themselves 'religious leaders' and who deliver what information won't contradict what other information they've already delivered to their SHEEP... So here's the critical piece.
“For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven”-Matthew 5:18-19 RSV
So, it looks like you're gonna have to buy slaves, kill your neighbours and y'know go all biblical on people's asses... it's gonna suck though because, as much as religious idiots say "this is a christian country," the laws we have here do not agree: Stoning your male neighbours or your brother because they cut their sideburns is very much frowned upon in the Canadian Criminal Code. So is selling your daughters into slavery and so is slavery itself. SO.... you're kinda snookered, I'd say... but then, if you err on the side of it all being such a load of horse shit, you're probably going to live a far less stressful, fear-filled life. THIS life. Not the supposed afterlife.
But I digress....
Dear Dr. Laura:
Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination ... End of debate.
I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God's Laws and how to follow them.
1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?
2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?
3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of Menstrual uncleanliness - Lev.15: 19-24. The problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.
4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?
5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?
6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination (Lev. 11:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this? Are there 'degrees' of abomination?
7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here?
8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?
9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?
10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? (Lev.24:10-16). Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)
I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I'm confident you can help.
Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.
Your adoring fan.
James M. Kauffman, Ed.D. Professor Emeritus, Dept. Of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education University of Virginia