April 24, 2011

Alternative Fuel Sources

So I'm someone who bikes to work pretty much everyday. I take the money that I save at the pump and invest it in alternative energy sources. In a way, my mountain bike is powered by chocolate cake.

April 17, 2011


So I was near the end of walking my dog when I came across a man talking to another man in a wheelchair. At the time we were walking on a walkway not near traffic, but they were holding up people with strollers that wanted to get by. When it was my turn to pass them, I noticed that they probably didn't know each other and that the motorized wheelchair was unresponsive. The older man was trying to help re-set the electric system on the wheelchair with the users help. I must admit that my first reaction was, 'how am I going to get by with this dog?'
Thankfully, common sense kicked in, and made me stay and study the situation more closely - he might really need some help. It still wasn't working so the guy from the wheelchair got up slowly and carefully. He could stand up and take a few steps despite whatever disability that was hindering his walking and speech. He seemed to be of sound mind and knew what he was doing with the battery. It's just that it wasn't really fixing the problem. I thought that I would wait around and see what happens in case they weren't able to revive the unit. It turns out that something on the control pad brought it back to life. Wriggling back to the seat he tried it out and he was away. You could see the relief in his expression as he thanked us.
As he wheeled away under his own power, I started to really think about the actual situation. Even though I had company coming over in a couple hours, I would have probably offered to push him back to wherever he was going. I figure that I could have physically been able to push this motorized chair as far as the range on the battery could take him, regardless of any hills. My dog would have made it too. When it comes down to it, if there was no one around and he lost battery power, it would have been like being stranded on a raft in the middle of the ocean. He would have been at the mercy of the elements. He couldn't have walked anywhere and even a mobile phone would have been difficult for him to use.
It's time for a big shout-out to the people who have to deal this this kind of stuff in their lives on a daily basis. If I had hindered mobility or sight, I wonder if I'd be brave enough to try walking to the local shops and back.

April 10, 2011

OCD Choices - Favourites or Needs?

So nearly everyday that I bike to work, I also see this guy walking into town. At first I didn't notice anything worth writing home about, (so to speak). After a while I started to notice that he seemed to be wearing the same striped shirt all the time. Thinking it was maybe a uniform or work-shirt, I wondered where he worked since it looks a bit casual to be corporate branded attire. I didn't see any visible logos the next day. Actually, it was a different stripey shirt altogether. And next week, a striped hooded sweatshirt! It was turning out that all the stripes are maybe just a personal preference and not just some guy from an old movie who escapes from prison each day.
Writing this now, I'm wondering if he is showing signs of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). I also am thinking about my own wardrobe and realize that I wear a lot of brown. (This blog is brown!) Am I noticing the stripes since I am of the same mindset? I'm certainly spending enough time in my life debating it.
I think that even after this post I will likely continue to purchase brown articles because I choose to wear brown often. Regardless, I will convince myself that it is merely personal taste, much in the way some people tend to wear a lot of black. I still couldn't say that the majority of my clothes were mostly of one particular colour. So can a fondness and natural inclination trigger OCD or is it vice versa? I must remember to contemplate this everyday.

April 03, 2011

Samurai gardener

So this actually happened last year, but since it was just down the street from where I live, I thought it would be okay.
On my way home, I was at the end of a stairway shortcut at the end of the local road. I was a bit tired from shouldering my bike up the steps as I became face-to-face with an older guy with a sword. While he wasn't challenging me to a duel or anything, he was in the process of going seriously crazy with it... but instead of gutting me he was using it for gardening.
It looked like a Japanese katana, (or 'Samurai Sword') and I'm not sure if you are legally allowed to regularly swing one around (even on weeds) in semi-public as it was. Also, I could imagine that any (real but long dead) samurai who would ever hear of such usage of a fine and sacred blade (especially by a gaijin, or 'white-guy'), would be deeply offended.
Regardless of what the laws, protocol and etiquette is, I though a sword of that calibre is overkill on lightweight leafy things; yet something awesome and hardcore that you don't see everyday.