Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Google maps, you anger me! >:(

a google maps search for 90 Wellington Street, Ottawa, Ontario returns a satellite view of a little green arrow pointing to a cloud.

This will be my excuse for being late.

- RG>

Monday, September 25, 2006

Visiting Police Officers Abuse Powers

I was parking my bike outside the Citizens for Safe Cycling office yesterday (Sunday), when I took this photo (click to see larger version):
In case you can't make it out, here's what it depicts: about a dozen or so O.P.P. motorcycle officers. Two of them sped into the intersection with their flashers on and blocked off Bank Street, while the rest of them zipped through the stop sign (there is no stop sign for the Bank Street traffic).

When Critical Mass does this, it is called "corking," and is considered illegal:

81. (3) No person shall drive, park or stop a vehicle on a highway in such a manner as to obstruct traffic.
-- City of Ottawa By-Law 2003-530

Immediately following this section is the exception for emergency vehicles...

Despite any provisions of this by-law to the contrary, a police officer or the General Manager may, during any emergency or special circumstance, by the erection of appropriate signs or signals, prohibit or regulate the movement of vehicles on any highway or part of a highway and no person shall drive or operate a vehicle in contravention of any such sign or signal.
-- City of Ottawa By-Law 2003-530

So the question comes out: why were they doing this?

The urgency with which they did this made me initially think they were transporting a special dignitary, but they were all on motorcycles; no sedans, limos, or Harpermobiles (tinted-window-SUVs).

Perhaps, I thought, they were doing anti-terrorism exercises, but their gold helmets and fancy attire nixed that thought.

An hour or so later, I found these motorcycles (along with a LOT of other police vehicles) parked near City Hall. Saturday had been the ceremonies to recognize fallen firefighters, and today the police were having another shindig.

However, "late for the party" does not seem to me to be an "emergency or special circumstance" under section 82. It does seem, however, to be an abuse of the Police's powers. Seeing these O.P.P. officers scoot through my city's downtown and flaunt stop signs does not do well for my perception of that organization.

The first thing you learn in any law course is the Rule of Law: everyone is equal before and under the law. This means that the Police have the same responsibility as we do to follow traffic laws. Although the law has exceptions, those exceptions are to be used sparingly, in emergencies only.

Here are the places I will be complaining to [Edit: I haven't.]:

- RG>

Quality product: Stanfield's underwear

EDIT: Jason had a less pleasant experience with Stanfield's underwear. See comments. - RG>

A few weeks ago, it came time to buy new underwear. Not something you do very often, but you have to live with your choice for a long time.

The last time I got new underwear, it was for christmas, back when I still lived with my parents. They got me Standfield's underwear, which I liked the fit of.

So I headed off to the Bay in search of Stanfield's underpants. But I was fearful. Never having bought underwear for myself before, I wasn't sure whether, for example, the design changes from year to year (making the version I currently had a few years out of date), or if there are different models of briefs.

I took the plunge, and purchased a three-pack for $27 plus tax. A bit steep, I know, but I like to wear quality material under the belt.

Before even trying them on, I was quite pleased. They are clearly marked on the back that they are made in Canada (Truro, Nova Scotia to be exact), and advertised "Buy Canadian". They came with the little inspection tag, saying that Darlene had verified their quality. This is quite reassuring in an era where most of the things we consume are produced overseas (food included).

I tried them on, and they fit like a glove. I was very pleased.

Thanks Darlene.

- RG>

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Note to self

Note to self:

When carrying a heavy wooden knife block,
- use two hands
- use dry, non-greasy hands
- wear steel-toed boots

- RG>

PS: refill gauze in first aid kit.

PPS: Ow.