NIMBY


I don’t want it to seem that it took this long for me to take action because it was “not in my back yard” but having it so close, and impact my family so much forced me and my family into action.

The City of Toronto garbage strike wages on… into day 32.  The City closed 2 dumps – one pretty close to our area – and opened one, the Otter Creek site, in an outside arena right in the middle of my kids summer camp. 

This camp is a Jewish summer camp and this site was made public Friday afternoon and opened Saturday morning which coincides with the Jewish Sabbath.

There are some stats being thrown around about how close the dump can be to the kids because of the toxins, pesticides and mice, and that was 30 metres.  The kids are less than 10 feet from this site, or about 3 metres.

Upon hearing this, my wife printed flyers, we got the kids up and dressed and headed over to protest the dump.  We told the line up of cars that there was a day camp here – close to 500 kids – and asked them to do as we have and keep their garbage at home instead of poisoning others.  We managed to convince 2 cars to turn around and keep their garbage.

Living in an affluent part of the city, it was difficult seeing all these BMW’s and Porsche’s drive up without a care in the world so they could dump their 1 bag of garbage.  Oh, how inconveniencing this strike my be for them…

But the most difficult event occurred when I was taking Linus car to car to explain that his camp was right beside the dump (it was actually on both sides) when I found our City Counsellor in the car being driven by her husband.  I know because I threw a post-election fundraiser for her and raised $12,000 to extinguish her debt. 

I asked her what we were going to do to fight this dump and she offered a solution, got out of her car and walked right into the dump to speak to city officials while… her husband got out of the car, opened his trunk and took out garbage to dump in the site.

GASP.

So she may have said she opposes it but in fact she supports it.

The Mayor, who is at fault, has publicly said that he does not dump his garbage in the sites.  The Mayor, who is saving $10 million dollars a day seemed more sympathetic that the counsellor who lives right around the corner from this dump. 

The Mayor must go.

The City Counsellor must go.

When I saw him open the trunk I yelled to UrbanMummy to use her iPhone and take a picture.  We’ll need it as leverage.  She did.  It’s been posted on Facebook, Twitter and sent to the local and city newspapers. 

Enough is enough.  I can’t send my kids to camp where this crap exists.

 

So why do I find this situation tricky… For one reason there has been rumour that most of the dumps are in lower-income areas, and to that I call bullshit.  I looked at the map of dumps… It’s pretty even.

I feel horrible for all the city arenas which are now dumps but I know in our area there are other potential sites, one right close to my house which would have been preferable because there is no camp there.

The camp my kids attend added more councillors in order to accommodate the poor kids whose city-run camps were without camp once the strike started.  Now they are being denied camp again.

Why people cannot keep their garbage in their house or unite together to dispose of it in surrounding areas where they still have garbage boggles my mind.  I keep my garbage – disposing of a few bags of stinky wet waste – diapers and cat litter – privately because my garbage does not belong in someones backyard.

If the stupid union – CUPE – decides tonight they are no longer bargaining then as a City, we cannot continue to open dump-sites and leave our trash for others to deal with, we must take actions together.

 

OR…

David Miller wakes up and treats CUPE in the same manner the the Via Rail strike engineers received.  They went on strike Friday – half we fired on Saturday, and they settled Saturday night.  Train run again Sunday.

Something must be done!

The grass I can deal with  – I cut the grass in the park when my son and 50 other kids play soccer. 

I paid to have my garbage sent to a the dump and by-passed the city.

I want a refund on my property taxes because as I mentioned before, living in a affluent area means a LOT of property taxes for services I have not received the past month and a bit. 

Time for new Toronto council.  These ones stink.  Like the garbage and their decisions.

A Day out with Thomas Part II


I decided to ask the rest of the family their thoughts about this past weekend, their good, bad and ugly.

Linus:

Good: That we bought him toys from the Thomas gift shop – almost as big as the whole rest of the event grounds.

Bad: Nothing – He liked everything

Linus also liked the boat… The boat he rode on that went “Toot Toot”.  Yup.  Too many cruise ships…

 

Stewie:

Good: Spinny Rides – I think he listens to the Barenaked Ladies too much…

Bad: Having toys bought for him and his brother…

(Me thinks he’s confused)

 

UrbanMummy:

Good: Watching her kids having fun – the looks on their faces was worth the 2 1/2 hour drive.

Bad / Ugly: Well, I would think anything to do with me might hit the nail right on the head…

A Day out with Thomas the Tank Engine 2009


I don’t want to bore anyone with details about out weekend away in St. Thomas Ontario so I thought a different approach might work better;

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of our trip.

Good:

The train ride – kids loved it, even though Stewie thought it was a “Monorail” (subway).

The look on the kids faces when they got to walk up to Thomas and have their picture taken in front of the big blue engine.  Both were talking to it/him and generally were in awe.

Where else do you eat dinner when in London Ontario, then at Mandarin… It was there that Stewie at no less than 25 shrimp.  It was all he wanted and he had the table beside us in stiches…  He cost $2.00, yet ate $20.00 in food… Boy can he pack it in.  Shrimps and snow peas and teriyaki shrimp… Didn’t matter.

The hotel we stayed at gave books away.  New ones.  Read and return them to a member hotel and they make a donation somewhere… For something… It was all good.

While at the Day Out with Thomas we saw a band called the Smudge Fundaes.  They were quite good and the kids really enjoyed them… Who knew?

 

The Bad:

It was cold.  Grrr.  22 degrees in July sucks.

I forgot the kids potty seat on our bed

Getting the kids to sleep… After being in each bed, 5 times…

Everything was closed on Sunday.  How 1980.  Don’t they know out there that not everyone attends Church on Sunday’s…

Clovermead – the bee farm with 24 million bees was… closed Sunday.

I got really tired driving… Needed coffee… Have to find a way to stay awake… You know it’s safer that way…

We didn’t get to sit together on the train eventhough we were the first ones in and had the pick of seats.  It’s a long story, but after choosing to sit with her friends, my pregnant wife decided we should all sit together and by that time there were no more seats… Her and the kids sat together and in the seat in front I sat alone turned around to interact with them.

The swimming pool in the hotel was -10 degrees but the kids wanted to swim.  I dove in and felt my body go into shock… Then we swam.

 

The Ugly:

I left said pregnant wife in the car… In the heat… But I took the keys and kids and didn’t crack the window.  She was… How can I put this nicely… NOT amused!!!  Lucky to still be married.

Watching the locals at Mandarin eat the crab legs in their best Saturday night jeans… It was far from a pretty sight, plate after plate of crab legs… Don’t these people eat anything else?

CUPE, Jon Gosselin and a little about me


I have not figured out how to post through email so what I do is write down my thoughts (just the good ones, lol) and email them to home so I can paste them here.  Sometimes I forget, and a bunch of them accumulate and you get a post like tonight’s.

The thought behind tonite’s post you ask…

1) Toronto is into day 23 of a STUPID inside/outside workers strike, meaning no garbage pick up, no ferry service to the Toronto islands, no public day-cares and some other stuff which obviously does not impact my world.  Well this union – CUPE – might as well be PooPee – picked the summer, tourist season to strike knowing that stinky garbage should sway public opinion.   Clearly after being offered a 0% increase this year, they think they deserve more…

Sadly, with cool summer weather, and a fair amount of rain, the garbage does not smell.  The City offered them, 1% this year, 2% next year and 3% the following year.  They want more. 

The grass at the park when my 2 and 4 year old play soccer was so tall, a neighbour and I took our push mowers over (another story for another day) and cut the grass.  I wish the City would fire them all and start again…

So I found out yesterday that 500 of them had crossed the picket lines and started working again.  I guess the union bosses (who actually live outside Toronto where there IS garbage pick-up) will have to summon their goons to rough up and harass the “scabs”.  I commend these guys for getting paid to do what they are hired to do.  They are public servants after all…

 

2)  Fans of the show Jon and Kate Plus 8 might understand this… I saw a picture in the tabloids of Jon Gosselin.  Do you not look at this guys picture and feel sorry for him.  His wife, did after all birth 8 kids.  Yet he left her because she was mean to him.  You see pics of him hanging out at College parties and on boats and he just looks like that loser everyone knows who had no friends but was just hanging out everywhere – he stands out.  His 15 minutes of fame are just about up…  Did you know his 23 yr old girlfriend is the daughter of the doctor who performed some plastic surgery on Kate Gosselin on the show!

 

3)  The last part that popped into my head surrounds the “about me” section of this blog.  If I had to do it again, and I know that I can change it, I would probably be more clear about who I am and what I stand for.  I wrote this;

“Welcome into my head.  I blog as an outlet, a release, to voice my thoughts and release the demons in my head to all of you, rather than my wife.  She prefers it this way.

A little about me… I’m a Dad.  My interests include; running, reading, politics, Star Wars, wrestling, cooking shows, law and order.  I have been playing in a ball-hockey league for 20 years.  I hold a masters degree in business administration and my family and I are active volunteers – we like to give our time to help those who need.  We are a very environmentally conscious family.  I work in the finance industry, as a manager, which uses my backgrounds in tax, accounting, project management and securities. 

I love my wife and children but strive to be a better husband, father and human being on a daily basis.   One of my biggest hang-ups is that I get focused on a task and cannot function until I have either over-analysed it, or completed it.  Once it’s done I can get more stuff done, until that time… I’m useless.

I grew up a sheltered boy in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  My first citing of any sort of recreational drugs was when I was in my mid-twenties.  I declined to try it because I don’t give in to peer pressure and I have an addictive personality and as an athlete, don’t want to add anything to my body that might slow me down.  I work and play very hard… I’m the kind of guy who hates to lose way more than I like to win.

For now, that’s pretty much me.  Thanks for taking the time to read it.  Feel free to comment and leave me the “about me” for your blog.  Things you do or have done that you are proud of or want to accomplish in your life, either personal or professional.

Read on.

I didn’t know… Did you?


I learned a bunch of new stuff today. How much of this did you know?

1) Vanilla is the second most expensive spice. I assume Saffron is the most expensive.

2) Hiring a live-in caregiver, already in Canada, is not easy. By the time you get a number through the nanny-circuit, call and actually reach them, they already have a job. And we are taking days…

3) The difference between Ontario family resorts, Wigamog, Delawana and Cleveland’s House appears to be thousands of dollars. Not sure what the amenities are like, but what differences does $6000 for a week in Northern Ontario have with a $1500 a week resport? I’m thinking tea and crumpets, bone china and surf and turf for breakfast…

4) There is nothing to do in St. Thomas Ontario where the “Day out with Thomas the Tank Engine” is next weekend. I did manage to find some really chepa hotels there, but for the kids… Nada. Kind of makes that old phrase, “Go play in traffic” have more relevance.

St. Thomas actually has a motto… “Strength through Progress”. Does that mean if there has been little progress since it’s settling in 1810, it’s not very strong? But seriously, besides being Canada’s Railway Capital. it’s only other claim to fame is that Jumbo the elephant died there (September 15, 1885) after being hit by… You guessed it… A train. St. Thomas is 95.5% Caucasian… 51% protestant… Guess I wont be looking for any kosher food in the local grocery store, eh?

5) Kate Gosselin, from Jon and Kate plus 8 is now listed on match.com.  Look her up if you want an instant family, or wait about 10 years until the kids are off to University…

6) What’s this I hear about Wayne Gretzky suing the city of Glendale, Arizona for $9.3 million.  Doesn’t he think the Phoenix Coyotes are going to be in Arizona for long?  Can’t see him him coming to Hamilton with the team… :)