Monday, May 25, 2015


So many people complain about the effort it takes to recycle stuff and part of that is due to the number of conditions of what you can and cannot recycle. There are times when you can't even see the number that is on a bottom on a container to determine if it qualifies or not.

I know that for us we can recycle different things than my parents can, as we live in an apartment building and they live in a house. We both live in the same city so that isn't what makes the difference it is how the items are picked up which is different. I know that different cities have different rules of what is recyclable and that is also confusing.

I know that in some places, especially fast food establishments, you put all your garbage and recyclable into one container and there is someone that sorts it out. I am not sure who does the sorting but I have to admit that I am not 100% confident that these establishments are really doing any recycling. There are other food establishments that go as far as having even a spot where you can dispose of food waste separately so it can be composted.
Recycling - a challenge

We were recently in getting our car serviced and they do have a spot for recycling but now they have put a stool in front of it which means that customers aren't going to recycle when someone is sitting in front of it. For people to do the act of recycling it needs to be something that is easy to do and not require a lot of additional effort.

For us we are people that try and recycle as much as possible. We have recycle bins in our apartment unit in a couple of places so that it is easy to throw the recyclable stuff into the correct bins and then once we have enough we take it downstairs and put it into the large bins that are out the back of our building.
Recycling - bins blocked

The other thing that is easy for recycling is remembering that if you don't need to print something out you just don't. I have been saying more and more things as pdf's and documents onto my computer instead of printing it out. By just not printing things out I am also saving money as I don't need as much toner for the printer or paper. I also have been able to reduce the space that I use sorting all the different things that I printed off.

Recycling is something that we all need to think about and do a bit of. The other thing is that businesses and cities need to make it easy for us to do the actual act of recycling.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Executive Office

For the last four years our company has rented an executive office which means that we have an office away from home and where we can meet with clients easily.

An executive office is normally in a business facility that specializes in provide a service to the small businesses. In our case what we get is an office which is our own and we can keep files, etc in it and there is a locked door which we have the key for. Besides having our own space we also have access to meeting rooms, a fully equipped kitchen, a mailing address (not home address) and a full time receptionist.

Of course there are pros and cons of having an office which isn't at home.

  • A place there you can work without the home distractions being around you.
  • Meeting facilities where you can meet clients.
  • Opportunity to meet other business owners in various fields.
  • Receptionist that greets your clients.
  • Location where business mail/packages can be delivered without worrying if you are home or not.

  • Having to travel to the office more than the couple of minutes to take to grab a coffee before sitting down to work.
  • The additional expense for the business of renting the office.
  • Having to carry documents back and forth that are being worked on.

The location for us is very convenient and that is why we are renting where we are. The location is just one bus away from where we live so it is a relatively easy commute when we come into the office. It is convenient to get downtown from our office as well so other bonus.

Executive offices can be very fancy or they can be basic and that has a lot to do with your type of business and what you want to communicate with your clients. In our case we wanted something nice but basic to show clients that we don't spend lots of money on the office which is why we charge our rates.

For us our office is where we can come and even have our own meetings and it is also a place that I go when I need a change. It is also the place where some of my writing happens because the simple change of location can make a difference for me. An executive office can be very useful for some people and they may not meet the needs of others, that is a decision that each business needs to make.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Music and ice cream trucks

We live in a high density area and I have to admit that summer sometimes isn't so pleasant when it comes to the ice cream trucks in the area.

Ice cream trucks are fine in an area if there are only there for a little while and don't play their music continually or even too often. We have had trucks that part in the area and stay in the same spot for up to three hours and never move. Some of these trucks play their music on a very frequent basis which is rather bothersome when you are trying to enjoy your balcony or even when sitting inside.

The worst ice cream trucks are the ones that part of play their music continually for 45 minutes to try and get attention. Maybe they are getting some people to notice them but how many people are avoid them because they are frustrated about the music. I know that this happened today that an ice cream truck parked in front of our community centre and played it's music for 45 minutes and it was loud.

Ice cream trucks have to understand that if they play their music a little bit when they arrive that is fine but don't play it continually as you are just getting people upset with you. Another thing about our area is that we have multiple ice cream trucks that show up on a daily basis so when one truck isn't playing music another truck is.

There are rules that these vending trucks are suppose to be following but if they aren't enforced when bother. I know that when I have called about these issues about the noise and how long a truck parks I am just basically told that it is a low issue so it isn't looked into. An ice cream truck should be made to follow rules and there should be means of enforcing these rules in the high density areas.

This is just the start of summer and already I am frustrated with the ice cream trucks around us. I have heard them in our community for over a month already.

Friday, May 15, 2015

A nice treat

Having food allergies is always a challenge because when eating out and I have had to give up a lot of different things due to the severe food allergies.

Now here is something that was a very nice treat and it left me feeling very good.

Yesterday afternoon we were out doing some errands and we came across a Tim Horton's truck that was advertising their new Chocolate Chill. Of course it was parked in a parking lot but out in an open area and there were some staff around it so we had to go and investigate.

This truck was serving the Chocolate Chill and only the chocolate chill which meant I should be able to try it. So we went up and were talking with the staff and yes they were serving just that new drink as they were trying to promote this new drink that is available at Tim Horton's now. We both immediately said we would like one because I had wanted to try one but figured that with my allergies it wasn't going to be something I had. So this drink is made of basically chocolate and some cream and yes it had chocolate whipped cream on the top and chocolate sauce. The staff apologized that it wasn't as thick as it should be as the machine was running low but I didn't care because I was going to get to try one. The staff made the two drinks and told us to enjoy them and smiled. Now the added bonus of this drink was because they were sampling it the cost of the two drinks was zero. Yes, we both got a small version of the Chocolate Chill for free and it was wonderful.

I was extremely happy after having this drink because it meant that I could have it without any of the normal risks that are involved if I were to have it in a Tim Horton's store. All I can say is Thanks to Tim Horton's for having that truck doing the sampling. I am very glad it was in an area that we happened to be in yesterday as I got to try it and enjoy it. I am now satisfied that I have had one of these drinks this summer and I don't feel like I got cheated out of it.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Being a leftie

I have to admit that yes I am left handed and have been all my life. My parents didn't force me to be right-handed and in some ways being a leftie is a challenge. Have you really looked around and looked at the number of things that are a whole lot easier for someone right-handed to do than they are for a left-handed person.

Here are some examples:
1. Turning a door handle, that is backwards to me.
2. Using a manual can-opener – yes the turning part is on the right side.
3. Using a video camera – controls are for someone using their right hand.
4. Cameras – controls are on the right side.
5. Opening doors – you open the right door which is harder for something that is a leftie.
6. Putting screws into something – they turn backwards (well to me they do).

I am not saying that everything is harder for a leftie but I have to admit that there are challenges that we face almost on a daily basis. I have actually had to invest in a pair of scissors made for a leftie because it was easier to cut fabric with them as opposed to the ones made for right-handed people.

Now one of the biggest challenges that I have faced all of my life is dealing with those rings in a binder or even the coils in a coil notebook. There are always in my way and that can be very frustrating. The way I got around that through school was with I was using a binder I would take the sheets of paper out of the binder at the beginning of the class and take my notes and then put the paper back into the binder at the end of class. As for the coil notebooks if you see me writing you may or may not notice that I am writing from the back of the book forward so that the coil is on the right side of the page when I do most of my writing.

Another thing that I do differently than a lot of people is where my mobile device is on my belt. I wear my mobile device on the left side as it is so much easier to get it out and put it back into it's holster. It is fun to look at people with their devices and sometimes you can actually figure out if they are left or right handed. If you notice that Barack Obama is a leftie and he did wear is mobile device on his left side as well.

There have been a lot of famous lefties in history which is great. Of course there is always going to be challenges for different groups of people and being a leftie is just one of those groups. Next time you try and do something, especially if you are right-handed, do it with your opposite hand and see what it is like.

I always say that being a leftie is OK because I have been able to make my way through all the various challenges and I will continue to do so. I may do things a little differently than most people but that's fine with me because I am me.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Standing on a glacier

 In September 2006, I had a wonderful opportunity while on vacation in the Canadian Rockies and that was to stand on a glacier. This was something I had heard about but figured I wouldn't get an opportunity to do. Our trip took us by the Columbia Icefields and we grabbed the chance to take the tour.

The size of the tires on the bus - Columbia Icefields
Now while standing at the Visitor's Centre we saw buses take visitors out to the Icefields and back. I didn't realize the feeling I would experience once I was standing on the glacier after taking that bus ride. The trip out to the Icefields actually took two different buses which was also interesting we took a school bus over to the base of the glacier where we transferred to much stronger and larger buses which had tires that were almost 5 feet in height.

DH and I standing on the glacier - Columbia Icefields
view from visitors centre - Columbia Icefields
The trip out onto the glacier really showed how thick the ice was but also a couple of other things and that is what meant so much to me. While at the visitor's centre we had watched all the buses come and go and saw people on the glacier for a little while. What I didn't realize was once I was standing on the glacier how small I would really feel. I stood on that glacier and looked around me and realized how small we really on in the whole world. We are basically little specks of dust when you look at us from a distance. While standing on that glacier I looked back at the Visitor's Centre and laughed because I realized how small we were going to be looking to the people back at the Visitors Centre. The other thing I realized how how beautiful parts of our own country are and we need to make sure we see them when they are still available.

The experience was something that I will never forget because it gave me the chance to fulfil a wish I had and also get to think about how small we are when you think of everything. The glacier has slowly been receding and that isn't great because it shows how much warmer the world is getting. 

I hope that one day I can go back out to the Rockies and stand on that glacier again.