Resolving Timeline Issues

Archive for July 2008

The other night, I went to a townhall meeting with TransLink where they presented their Transport 2040 strategy.

Now, at the risk of sounding forgiving, you have to realize that they’ve been given a nearly impossible task. On January 1, 2008, some new legislation kicked in that said they had to have a plan of some sort by August 1, 2008. That’s an awfully short time to develop a comprehensive, 30 year plan. So what you’ll see on this link is a strategic plan – broad brush strokes that point the way to some future.

That being said, after the meeting (and there were a LOT of angry people there – more on that later), and I said to some guy that I thought the whole plan was a load of horseshit.

I live in an area that’s not well-served by public transit. There’s the WestCoast Express which runs only during peak hours. The result of that is this morning was a mad dash in time for last train to get me downtown. I’d planned to go into work late and I did – I got there at 9:15am. There’s the 701 to Coquitlam Station which is an “express” bus – with 30 stops. There are numerous community shuttles – which are unreliable. One 16 year old at the meeting told a story of how she waited for 45 minutes for a shuttle – late at night that never came.

There is little transit east of 200th Street. And Maple Ridge is supposed to be a city centre.

There were a lot of angry people at that meeting. TransLink wasn’t even going to come to Maple Ridge (probably because they knew there was nothing in that plan for Maple Ridge) until the Mayor asked them to come. They looked sufficiently chastised, especially when they were asked no more than 4 times if they’d taken transit out to the meeting (of course not? are you crazy? THEY IS HI POWERED EXECUATIVES!)

But none of that really fazed me – its part of the reality of living here. And I love this town.

What got me what what the accountant guy said:

To me, this isn’t a plan, because its not financially sustainable.

Well, no shit, Sherlock. And yet you want to keep increasing my property and fuel taxes, and we don’t get any benefit from it?

Other highlights:

  • investing $24M in cycling and $29M in WestCoast Express over the next 10 years (do YOU see a discrepancy here?)
  • West Van has half the population of Maple Ridge and twice the bus service to downtown Vancouver (I guess that’s what money can buy you)
  • people out here want to take transit but can’t; its offensive that TransLink believes all that’s needed is a behavioural shift (FOR SHAME. It goes without saying that in order for people to change their behaviour, you have to give them the resources to do so)
  • for what it costs to build one kilometer of underground skytrain (an oxymoron, really), you can build a line of light rail from Maple Ridge to Mission.

Did you know that there’s no bus service from Maple Ridge to Mission? And that people in Abbotsford have to go to Mission, then the WestCoast Express to get downtown?

So kudos to Mayor Robson for getting TransLink out here. And more kudos to him for wanting to get Maple Ridge out of TransLink. I can tell you which Mayoral candidate out here will get my vote in November.


Oh and a couple of days later, I found out another interesting thing: TransLink didn’t ask any municipalities for input until the strategy had been created – they weren’t considered stakeholders.

This is crossposted over at WetCoast Women  where Nicole also rants sometimes.

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I didn’t realize it had been quite that long since I wrote about the Elephant on My Head. I feel much better now.

So, first things first, the password for the post below can be acquired in two ways.

  1. It is the name of the character that said, “Life…don’t talk to me about life” from a certain work that answered the question to life, the universe and everything.
  2. You can email me at rtissues at gmail dot com. But try the first one first – its much more fun.

And for those that had the password before, it is the same.

Now that the administrative stuff is out of the way, I really have nothing to say because all I’ve been doing is (a) working (b) WORKING and (c) working. And drinking some wine.

We made it to the driving range a couple of times and it is abundantly clear I haven’t been out in almost TWO YEARS because the driving range is just not fun. Apparently, Wii golf doesn’t count when it comes to playing real golf.

The first time we went out, my sides hurt for awhile. Then I spent about 8 hours over the course of two days working on other people’s swimming strokes (have not done this in YEARS). And then I had to go to work and try to maintain some semblance of normalcy in my private life.

Thank god the cleaning service came at some point in there. Really, I don’t know what I’d do without them.

And then the thing in the password protected post happened and weirded me out.

So I have a month off working weekends. Not that it matters because next weekend I have an optometrist appointment, then have to stop wearing my contacts and on the 31st I go under the laser. Am quite excited about this: not only do I get my vision corrected, but my mommy is coming to take care of me and cook. Daddy is coming too. Maybe I can guilt him into kindly ask him to be removing the laminate from the laundry room for me because its pretty nasty?

So yes, a rather abrupt end, but I have to go get ready for the thing in the password protected post.

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On Monday, I ate a chocolate bar. A Mars bar. And you know what? It tasted damn good.
(cue body nudging me)

On Tuesday, I had ice cream. It also tasted damn good.
(cue body kicking me in the shin)

On Wednesday, I had another Mars bar. It tasted really damn good.
(cue body beating me over the head)

Why does this matter?

I don’t have a sweet tooth. I’m pretty fussy about the chocolate I eat and usually a Mars bar is the last thing on my list of sweet things to eat. Ice cream ranks higher (but that’s because its got a lot of fat in it). But the last few days I wanted the sugar. There’s only one time when I want sugar – and that’s when I’m about to get a migraine.

This morning, the alarm went off at the usual oh-god-thirty. I reached over and slapped it off, then sat up and felt an elephant on my head. So I laid down for another 15 minutes.

I sat up again and the room spun around and a jackhammer started digging at my brain. My stomach turned into a pancake and was flipped over.

Once the room and stomach settled down, I stumbled downstairs to get my cel phone. I made three calls: the first was to my carpool buddy (whose alarm doesn’t go off at oh-god-thirty, but earlier at you’ve-got-to-be-fucking-kidding-me-forty five), my manager and another coworker, just in case to let them know there was no way I would in on time. I’m not really sure how coherent I was but I think the message got across.

At some point Darren came upstairs to wake me up. I think I grunted at him and said something about an elephant on my head. When he finished his morning ablutions, he kissed me goodbye and I went back to sleep. For FOUR MORE HOURS.

My head was still hurting when I got up, but the elephant was gone and had been replaced by a…I don’t know. Some slightly smaller creature like a large cat. A lynx maybe? I stumbled downstairs again, reheated some coffee and fed the cat.

The coffee stayed down, thank god.

I trundled off to work, head still pounding, and sulked at my desk – especially when the ambulances went by (I work 3 blocks from a major hospital).

And now I will take some coedine and go to bed.

*to give you an idea of what time oh-god-thirty is, I offer this: I slept for an additional four hours, have an hour’s commute to work, and still managed to get there at 11am)

Because I’ve bitched about the carbon tax enough, how about something a little more frivolous?

Hotfessional’s last post reminded me about this. Conversation number one occurred when I was out to lunch with a coworker on Monday (hey, she was buying. Who am I to refuse a free lunch?). She was talking about her brother who has some anger management problems:

Coworker: So when he came here and stayed with me when I had my surgery, it rained for 22 days straight and he refused to go to the market.
Me: Mmmmf (said around a mouthful of goat cheese and prosciutto)
Coworker: I told him there was an umbrella and the market is two blocks away; he said he’d go after it stopped raining.
Me: Mmmmf (it was fries this time)
Coworker: I mean, really. Its not like he’d melt. He’s not the Wicked Witch of the West. (pause) Well, maybe he is the asshole of the east.

(Not that Mr. Hot is an asshole)

Conversation number two occurred on the ride home. My carpool partner got herself engaged over the weekend and was telling me about her wedding plans and how Darren and I would get an invitation because we carpool:

Me: You know, you’re not obligated to invite us.
Carpool buddy: Oh, I know. There’s no obligation. I actually like you.
(she does stand up comedy on the side) (this is also a pregnant pause)
Me: Thanks! I like you too!

Yes, I’m just a wee bit bitter about the carbon tax gas tax that kicked in today (as if you haven’t guessed already). I haven’t gone out yet today, but I saw on the news that gas prices are up above the $1.50/litre mark.

But, moving on! I promised over at Wet Coast Women that I would try not to bitch about the carbon tax.

In other news, I have become a twit. Although, I find twitter a wee bit sluggish at times. Flaky, even. But you can follow me over there if you like.

Darren had to get up at the buttcrack of dawn today to go play golf for a 6:30 tee off time at a course that’s about an hour away. The funny part is, not only does he get a free round of golf, but since its work related, I think he gets paid. 

And I? Slept in until 7:30. Drank coffee.

My biggest decision today is whether to wii or go to the driving range. Or both. And maybe set up some golf lessons.

I haven’t been out to whack some balls in about 2 years. The closest I got last year was when I was out of work for 12 weeks and volunteered at Darren’s company golf tournament last year (they paid in beer and food). Not that’d I’d even attempt to play Swan-E-Set (which is a very nice, swank place) because some of thoses holes? Brutal.

We went to the driving range on Saturday and I whacked about 60 balls. My back and arms still ache.

And that, will be the extent of my Canada Day. Happy 141st birthday! You still look great.

What are you doing for Canada day?

July 2008
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