frustrating fruit

Ranting about the Internet, like the half-hour I just spent tearing my hair out trying to access this blog, can be tedious. Usually I don't succumb to the temptation. However, since I also missed 4 important deadlines today I feel entitled to a tiny rant.

I'm more bothered about the unrealistic expectations we all have in this high-speed wi-fi Blackberry era. I'm no Luddite, but I think most people should be amputated at the Blackberry. If management or colleagues couldn't flip me a memo in the expectation of an instantaneous reply, that is, if I had fewer specious interruptions, I might just be able to make some of those admittedly unrealistic deadlines!

Fortunately for me, I have a 3-day weekend coming up in which to forget all of that nonsense. If I try to do too much, it will all be on my own head. And that's just fine. However, I guarantee that I won't be serving blackberries for breakfast, lunch OR dinner.


Can you take the heat?

It’s January 4th. The sun shines brightly in a cloudless blue sky. This combination, in Ottawa, usually means that I head for the coat closet and hunt out my thickest parka, big furry boots, hat, scarf, gloves – all the paraphernalia of winter. Bright weather in winter equals COLD.

Not this year. Temperatures are firmly above zero °C, and by all accounts likely to stay there for the foreseeable future. Next thing you know, these spring-like conditions will see tulips popping out of the ground and trees leafing out.

What’s wrong with this picture? Well, it wouldn’t take much for a late cold snap to do a lot of damage to the trees, for one thing. Not to mention the shrubs and flowers. A winter without cold could turn into a summer without green. A very disturbing prospect.

We’ve been through El NiƱo events before. In 1998, the result was a serious ice-storm. They seem to be getting closer together. Severe weather all over the planet is on the rise. What’s next? A good question to which I don’t have the answer. Things don’t look very promising, though.

I’m not advocating doom & gloom, here. No culture of fear for me. That doesn’t mean I’m not concerned, though. I think global warming isn’t just a buzz phrase. It’s real, and we need to do some pretty drastic things if we’re not going to get to a point where we can’t do anything but wait for the climate as we know it to further erode.

What would I suggest? Smaller, cleaner-running cars would be a start. High efficiency hybrid or diesel engines. Get rid of some of the clutter of trucks (by which I mean SUVs and the like). Dis-incentives for owning anything bigger than a mid-size car such as higher insurance & fuel surcharges. Exemptions only for registered businesses or those who could prove need.

Not much, but perhaps a place to start. We North Americans need to be more responsible.

Me? I drive a VW Jetta diesel. Just re-insulated the house, too. I put my money where my mouth is. How about you out there in cyber-space? What have you done for the planet, lately?


happy 2007?

I hope it may be so!

You can expect to see a bit more of me here this year. I'm doing a little reorganizing and shifting priorities. For one thing, I have just 2 years before (early) retirement! Yippee!!