Sunday, March 26, 2017

THE END OF THE SPEEDING TICKET

      Some time ago I wrote in great detail about a speeding ticket I got and how I was going to fight it. You wanted to know how it ended. Well, the ticket was withdrawn because of the time taken to deliver the ticket to me.

     However , moving through the justice system was disappointing and challenging.

     I found the justice system to be a complete gong show. People didn't know what they were doing and were reluctant to do anything when they did know. First, the prosecutor's office wasn't going to take my letter of request for disclosure.  It is the prosecutors responsibility to get the disclosure organized. When I did get the disclosure package three weeks ago , I noticed there wasn't much there. When we checked 75% of what I asked for was not there. All of what the prosecutor needed was there. Was the guy inept? Did his staff not check? Did he set this up against me?

     On my first appearance the prosecutor said he would phone me. He never did call back. The Micro manager finally phoned him and his reply was not helpful. Finally, a good advisor phoned the prosecutor and explained that most of the disclosure was missing. Only then was he ticket withdrawn. The prosecutor fully intended to haul me into court. Only when an ex police officer called the prosecutor as the ticket withdrawn. I don't like seeing things done by people who have clout. The issue should stand on its own merit.

  If you're going to challenge a ticket, much research has to be done. It's a lot of work and very challenging.

   One thing that happened is that the city quickly got digital equipment which should cut the time in half and tickets will be delivered much sooner.

   I learned a few things and I think I might be on a crusade. We seem to shut our eyes and think that photo radar is infallible. It's not half as accurate as they claim. The position of the radar vehicle, distance into the speed zone, slopes, surroundings, equipment and operators all have a bearing on accuracy.

    Then I started looking at signage. I've requested the city's policy on signs. So far I haven't got the  policy. That makes me more suspicious and I'm going to find out how they place signs. I've seen places where there's a clutter of signs...seven in a 50 meter space. Who can read that many signs when you're driving?

    So I won what I wanted ,but I think I may have found some more work for myself.

Friday, March 24, 2017

FAMILY TRIVIA

      This week my daughter as in France ...working.

      This week my son was in Las Vegas...working.

      I thought this was pretty neat for my kids.

      My daughter is the manager of education and training for the company she works for. When her company buys other companies she goes out and trains the new company on changes they will have to make to their operation.

     My son works for a high tech company and he was in Las Vegas at a trade show showing the company's products. 

    At least one of them could have taken Dad with them for the week!



Wednesday, March 22, 2017

SOMETIMES OUR LITTLE KIDS EMBARRASS US!

      I listen to a noon radio talk show most of the time. This week one of the topics was about how our kids have embarrassed us. I had an instant idea but didn't phone in. Instead ,I thought I'd tell my readers the story.

    I have to set things up for the story. Early 1970's. (Wow that seems like a long time ago.) We wore huge bell bottom pants that had large patterns and wild colors. Remember the leisure suits? My son was 3 1/2 years old.

     We were camping. I took him to the campground bathroom. My son pointed to a cubicle and said, "Dad, there's a clown in there." I tried to ignore him and distract his attention. He got more excited than ever and was jumping up and down because there was a clown in one of the cubicles. Since we were standing waiting for a cubicle to be available I couldn't hide. What my son saw was the bottom of a pair of trousers and big shoes. The pant cuffs were huge. The green plaid pattern was gigantic...something like what a clown would wear. 

    The guy emerged from the cubicle and my son was  jumping up and down saying, " There he is Dad. There's the clown." 

    Now I must admit the guy could have been taken for a clown. He was young and obese so the bell bottoms were larger than ever. I don't think the guy caught on that he was being called a clown. 

    When we got back to our camper my son told his Mom that he had seen a clown.

    It was embarrassing but fun once it was over.

Monday, March 20, 2017

SMART ASSED PRICE TAGS

     When I was grocery shopping last week I needed particular item. When I found it I was happy to see that is was on sale for $2.69. Ah ha I said ,  "I'm lucky! This is on sale."  The item was on the top shelf and although I'm not short the writing is hard to see. When I checked my receipt I found that I was charged the regular price of $2.99. What gives? I went back to look at the sale tag on the item. Well, if you bought three they were at $2.69! Now very few people would by 2 or 3 of this item because it's one of those that's on your shelf but not used very much. So pretty tricky. First they force people to buy three items or the suckers like me who miss the small print , pay the regular price.

     Now  I'm used to buy three for a sale price and over three they are regular price. As you see the sale tag above is almost opposite to this one.

     Another pet peeve is a price for assorted with a limit of six. So there are 8 varieties of soup. Does this mean I can only take six cans of the same variety or can I pick six different varieties of soup. Again if I make the wrong interpretation I lose out. 

     I buy almond milk. It comes in packs of 2 two liter containers or a two liter buy itself. So on the double pack it says 2 for a certain lower price. Does it mean I have to buy 4 liters or does it mean the two liter in the pack?

    Now to add more confusion to this mess, the prices are sometimes entered incorrectly and don't match what's on the shelf.

    Now every grocery store has a points system...customer loyalty. Each store you go to has a different plan on how points are collected and spent. Some you just collect points and redeem them. One store offers a sale price with the use of so many points. Good deal? I think not.

    Each store has a different set up at the cash register to see your groceries go through.

     I realize that all these strategies are clever marketing. There are strategies that most customers are unaware of.

    So do you think I'm not a happy grocery shopper? I want one good simple price and no gimmicks. 

Saturday, March 18, 2017

ST. PATRICK'S DAY

    Well, a belated happy St. Patrick's day!

    As a child, in school,  every St Patrick's, we would dutifully make our shamrock in art class and have green decorations in the classroom. We were probably told an Irish story or maybe a bit about St. Patrick. Somehow, the excitement of St. Patrick's day never got to us. It didn't have any relevance for kids who lived out in the boonies and rarely got out of their local district.

    St. Patrick has a long history. It is thought he brought Christianity to Ireland in the 5 th century and for a bonus he scared all the snakes out of Ireland. So  St. Patrick is well known in Irish religious and cultural history.

   St. Patrick's celebration spread to many parts of the world as the Irish were great travellers.

   St. Patrick's day celebrations, as we know them today, were largely started in America. Some of the enthusiasm for parades went back to Ireland and now they have the best parades. So again religion and culture are celebrated. The Irish are inclusive as they keep saying everybody has a little Irish in them. So many people who are not Irish get caught up in St. Patrick's day celebrations.

   Much  of Europe had similar celebrations for St. Patrick and his bringing of Christianity.

    A  few bloggers posted on St. Patrick's Day.

   Now there are many other patron Saints. I'm not up on all the saints.

   One very interesting saint is St. Urho. He comes across as being the real McCoy but was a actually the creation of a Minnesotan in the 60's. He borrowed liberally from the St. Patrick  story and invented a saint for the Finnish people of Minnesota. A tradition has been built up around St Urho and Minnesotans of Finnish backgrounds have wacky parades and parties. St. Urho day was originally celebrated in the summer. Today it is celebrated on March 16! St. Urho has now spread to Finland.

   Only one blog I  follow posted on St. Urho's day.

   Now at age 77 I have never seen a st. Patrick's Day parade. We still don't have St. Patrick's day parades where I live.

   Am I missing something?

 
 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

I'VE BEEN SNOWED UNDER

    Now from the land of ice and snow my title makes sense. And we did get 20cm (8 in) of snow over a four day period.

    No , I'm talking about being busy. Really busy. So I have not been able to post as often and I admit that reading and commenting on blogs has been less. I have missed reading some blogs meaning I like the blog and would like to read it in more detail.
  
    Sometimes one problem gets tangled up with a couple of other projects and then "I get snowed under". I mean really busy.

   So two weeks a go the micro manager discovered a little water under the kitchen sink. "So I'll just take a little look and see what's the trouble. " I found out the trap was leaking. That's the u shaped thing on the drain. This is a double sink so there are two drains.We went to our handy plumber who sells products and gives advice. He suggested we take out all the pipe under the sink and replace it with ABS (plastic). No, no we said we just want to replace the trap. Off we went to another place to find that we couldn't get what we wanted. We decided to take another look to make sure we were right. Well, we found a leak in another place. Back to the plumber for advice. Well, he still said replace the whole thing. He suggested a couple of options. Well, after puzzling and puzzling we decided to change the one side with plastic. 






    Well lo and behold when I was taking the right side apart the left side fell apart. So then I had to replace both the left side and right side.

    So off we go and buy the supplies. The right side was tough to line up and it leaked. 

   So lesson learned. I buy more supplies and try again. I finally did a great job on both drains.

    So my guy was right at the beginning. He said replace the whole thing and that's what I ended up doing.




   Now some people are saying why are you so silly and do it yourself? Why don't you call a plumber? I like these projects even if they are difficult. Plumbers cost too much money. Plumbers leave you with a big mess to clean up. Plumbers break other stuff!

   However, this is my last project. First, I don't have training or experience so the projects are a challenge. Next , I'm too old to crawl around on the floor and get into small spaces.

   So this is probably my last post on doing a home project.
    

Sunday, March 12, 2017

W HAT'S THE FUSS WITH CHANGING TIME?

    With my title I've probably made at least 50% of my readers angry.

     Changing time twice in a year always brings about discussion on both sides of the issue. Some of it heated. Most of the negative comments come in the spring when we spring forward and lose and hour of our sleep. We don't hear so much complaining in the fall when we get an extra hour to sleep in.

    The comments I've heard this spring have more substance than just complaining. People are asking why do we change. People have been following blindly without thinking about the reason for time changes...if there is one. Why do we change time? Who started the time change ? When did it start? Here people blame the farmers for the change. Farmers are the biggest complainers about time change.

    So now people are saying, "Do we really need to change time?"  The next question is but which time should we stay on? The hour ahead or the standard time. This is really when the choices are divided. There are good reasons for staying on standard time for the whole year and good reasons for staying on daylight saving time. The the term daylight saving time is a stretch. We are not saving time. There's still 24 hours in the day.

     Ask shift workers about the change twice a year.

    One place I know. Saskatchewan, Stays on standard time all year and has done so  for many years.

    I would like to see us go in the middle of standard time and daylight saving time. 

    Anybody with me?