Pedalling their School Bus

Fast CoExist: Dutch Kids Pedal their own Bus to School:

The Dutch are bicycle fanatics. Almost half of daily travel in the Netherlands is by bicycle, while the country’s bike fleet comfortably outnumbers its 16 million people. Devotees of the national obsession have taken the next logical step by launching what is likely the first bicycle school bus.

Built by Tolkamp Metaalspecials, and sold by the De Cafe Racer company, the bicycle school bus (BCO in Dutch) is powered entirely by children and the one adult driver (although there is an electric motor for tough hills). Its simple design has eight sets of pedals for the kids (ages 4 to 12), a driver seat for the adult, and three bench seats for freeloaders. The top speed is about 10 miles per hour, and features a sound system and canvas awning to ward off rainy days.

What a great way to get the kids exercising and active first thing in the day. They can burn off some energy so they will be more likely to sit and listen in class too.

Saw an Ermine in Barrie

Ermine and Least Weasel.

While waiting for the bus this afternoon in Barrie, Ontario I noticed something white blowing across the road. Only it was alive and running across the road, when I took a second look. It was like a mouse but bigger and with a fluffier tail. Also, it was all white but for a black tip on it’s tail.

I’ve never seen one of these animals around here. I knew it was something I had heard of before but I couldn’t remember a name. I thought about it off and on during the rest of the day.

Now, at home again, I looked it up online. It’s an ermine.

Plastic Bags

A friend on Facebook posted a link to a site which wants people to boycott plastic bags. This is a US thing cause here in Canada it is already in effect.

Across Canada (as far as I know) almost every retailer makes you pay for plastic bags now. WalMart seems to be the only one holding out, giving bags free when you shop there.

It started with the grocery stores. It is the government’s way to get people using the cloth/ green bags instead. It’s also causing people to buy less. People don’t want to pay for bags so they buy what they can carry out in their hands, if they didn’t bring their own bags. I take the bus so I don’t have a car to store bags in. So I’m buying less and end up making more trips.

I expect it will also cause more shoplifting. People just bring their own bags and put stuff into them. Cashiers are not allowed to ask people to empty the bags they bring with them. I know this from my experience as a cashier in a department store.

I really think the plastic water bottle thing causes a lot more plastic waste which would be easier to fix by using green bottles.

There was talk of not using take out cups for coffee any longer. Everyone would have to bring their own. So someone like me would have to carry around a backpack instead of a purse so I could haul around my own bags, my own coffee cup.

The other issue they have been finding with bring your own bags (and would also be relevant to bring your own cups) is bacteria and pure grossness. People are not washing the bags. They use them for more than just groceries, store them in less than clean/ sterile ways. Cashiers have had to refuse to use some bags cause they could not stand the smell of them. At the coffee shops they shoot a spray of hot water into the cups but I doubt that really cleans them enough between coffees.

I’m waiting to see what we have to bring our own of next.

How's Your Day Going?

I’m writing a post about building and maintaining your own web directory on my Word Grrls blog. I started my own web directory, which I had been wanting to do for ages. Took me quite awhile to find software that I could get to work myself. I am still not 100% with it but it is up there and I have begun adding my sites to it. 

I still haven’t met the guy from Toronto. But we still talk online about once a month. I think I am feeling discouraged about it but not quite giving up. I had considered going downtown to Toronto myself this month but after paying the bills I don’t really have enough left that I could afford the travel fare for the local bus (TTC) and the GO bus from here to Newmarket and then Toronto. It would be about $20 each way. Then more for a lunch, or at least a coffee or two. I’d be too poor for groceries the rest of this month. 
My nephew, Zack, and I went to see a movie last week. It was one Zack wanted to see and I had seen the commercial and thought it would be fun. It wasn’t what I had expected at all, very violent. Shocked me and I considered walking out and getting my ticket refunded so I could see something else. But, Zack had wanted to see it and knew it was going to be… what it was. At least I guess he did. He’s 14, an age when they want to see stuff like that. I’m 45, an age when I’d rather think better of the world and it’s peoples. 
I’m having a bleh day today. Lacking in ambition and I’m cold. I just turned the heat on in the house. I have it set at 20 C. I don’t know what most people keep their heat set at but 20 is what I got used to over the winter. It was down to 18 C. I wouldn’t think 2 degrees would really make such a difference in how it feels. 

There are Days When…

Getting back to this personal blog again. Which means I will need to fix it. I have a bunch of broken links from the last time I moved things on my web host. I should also give it a change from the Spring daisy look, considering how much snow there is outside today.

But, today I already have a fairly good work load and don’t feel like doing much other than hiding indoors taking care of myself. I’ve got one of those shingle things again. Making me feel all over yucky and my eye is sore. I really need to get out to deliver paperwork and buy milk at the grocery store. I wish it was a short trip to one spot for both. But no. That would be too nice.

I am trying to think how I can accomplish everything in one place anyway, cheating in a kind of, sort of, way. I could mail the paperwork though it would arrive late. I could skip getting a coffee while I am out (though I have not had a bite of anything all day and I am getting hungry even though I don’t feel like eating). I could just go to the grocery store which is right on the bus route. If I rush the shopping I can meet the bus as it comes back on the next lap of the route and then I don’t need to pay an extra bus fare to get home.

But, it’s cold outside and I’d have to rush into my coat and boots to catch the bus now. Well, really, I have about 15 minutes, give or take due to snow and ice on the roads. So, really I do have enough time to catch the bus. I should stop being such a lemming and get out there and do it. I’m not even standing up yet though.

There are days when having a personal slave sounds like a really good idea.

Funny Valentine is Faulty

The date tonight was a no show. I had a pretty strong feeling he was going to not show up or cancel (preferred option as I didn’t really NEED to freeze waiting for the bus to and from). But, I showed up cause I had said I would.

I did think he might come. We had been talking about a mutual interest in the paranormal, local history and the old buildings. But, I was there early and waited until quarter after when I had to leave to catch the bus home. (Didn’t really want to spend a half hour waiting for the next one).

On the plus side, I did finish the book I was reading and the coffee I got at the Second Cup was pretty good. Not as good as the caramelo flavour or the latte would have been. I decided to try something else.

Update: It is 3:30 AM and I am at my sister’s house, just finishing the last of my laundry. It has gotten way behind with Sears not getting the new machine working for so long. I am happy to feel clean, warm clothes again, especially when they are my own and not the laundry I have done for my sister’s family here. Anyway, I did hear from my Friday evening date. He was just late. Actually, must have missed me by the barest minute. I left at quarter after. Poked around, taking a few photos of the lights on main street. Then headed up to catch the bus. He got there about 18 minutes after. My coffee cup was still on the table even. So we will try again.

Funny how the same thing happened last week with a different guy. In that case he started talking about sex, sex, sex and sex and when I didn’t have the right answers for him he just forgot I existed. I am sure that is why I decided I was stood up again tonight rather than waiting until tomorrow to be sure. I did check email just before I left Barrie to come out here tonight though. That was about 8:30. So I wasn’t too quick to jump to conclusions. Quick enough maybe, on messy, snowy night. But, I didn’t blow a gasket at least.

I am so tired now. Just need to flip the last load into the dryer. I really hope the dryer from Sears works and that is not the next thing I need to deal with. I want a break. One day without problems I didn’t cause. Really, doesn’t is seem fair that you should only have to deal with the stuff you have messed up yourself? Isn’t that enough?

Nightie night.