Monthly Archives: August 2009

Suffering Economy Hitting Loggers At The Core

Our current economical down-slide has not only hurt the green we put in our wallets every two weeks, but has also had an adverse affect on the environment as well as our food chain. The effects of the economy has now rippled its way into the logging industry.

An occupation which at one time yielded profits fit for a king is now in danger of being shut down in many areas. Logging business owners are struggling to break even, leaving climbers jobless, and unable to support their families.

The economy has now affected the environment we live in as these logging companies are being forced to shut down, leaving a black mark on our food chain, and a source of oxygen. Some of these trees are so tall, reaching heights of over 200 feet, that they become susceptible to wind gusts.

The tree tops start swaying in the wind, and if one tall tree high up on hill topples over, a domino affect ensues with the trees further down the slope. Instead of 100 trees flopping over, the area now suffers from hundreds of hectars of damage.

When this happens, the deer, and other wildlife in the area have trouble digging up the food needed to survive the winter due to the hard crusting of snow that takes place. ?? There is now more snow on the forest bottom due to the trees which had previously existed, and provided shelter from the elements, now rotting on the ground.

The loggers are hired by environmental companies along with other groups who have an interest in protecting their land to help cut the tree tops off. Once that is done, the winds affects are not as disastrous.

Running a logging company is a costly venture, and requires highly efficient time management, and a bit of luck. It’s a dangerous job already since your often quite high in the air, in locations so desolate that the only way to get help if injured, is to be flown out by a helicopter.

Loggers need high quality equipment or they spend more time climbing down to the ground to fix their equipment, costing them valuable time.

Helicopters are hired at a rate of $5,000 dollars per hour, and are placed on call. It doesn’t matter if the chopper is up in the air or on the ground. Time is money in the logging industry, leaving little room for error.


Province Looking To Keep Drivers Focus On The Road

It’s scary how dangerous using your cell phone can be, and that’s why a Provincial Statute banning the use of hand-held cell phones, and texting is in the works. A bus driver on youtube, driving a handi-bus was caught unawares when he looked up from sending a text message on his phone just as he ran into another vehicle in a head on collision.

The hidden cameras used to regulate drivers caught the incident, and is a heavy reminder that we may not have all our wits about us when the mind is focused on those everyday all important conversations.

The trouble with enforcing this proposed bylaw is that they must prove without a doubt to a stranger, “The Judge”, that beyond a reasonable doubt the accused was speaking on their cell phone. An officer can’t just simply say, “He had his hand up in the air.” By the time you pull the vehicle over, they can hide their phone, and that’s what makes this potential bylaw difficult to enforce.

This proposed bylaw would at least bring attention to the issue, and positively influence those who value the safety of others as well as themselves.

A nationwide online poll was recently conducted with 88 per cent of respondents saying they would support the ban on using hand-held cell phones.

In 2003, Newfoundland and Labrador put the ban on hand-held cell phones into affect. Quebec, and Nova Scotia followed suit in 2008, and Ontario recently passed the new bylaw which will start to be enforced in October.

A safe driving test, called the “Dumb Car 2.0”, was recently conducted in Calgary. While driving with an on screen monitor, participants were presented with obstacles often encountered while on the road, such as grabbing a cell phone or changing a CD.

Many found these tasks difficult including Jerry Bizot, a 41 year old truck driver who walked away embarrassed after crashing the virtual car. Many people don’t realize that these obstacles exist, and when attempted, result in acceleration of speed, and swerving.

Transportation Ministry Spokesperson, Tammy Forbes says the government is developing a legislation that focuses on all types of driving distractions, and behaviors. It will go far beyond the use of cell phones, and texting, and will include all electronic devices, and anything else that might distract the drivers eyes while on the road. Legislation for the new bylaw is tabled for discussion near the end of October.

On Tuesday, August 18th, Strathcona County drivers were the first to see the ban imposed on driving while using a hand-held cell phone. Those caught on their cell will face a $100 dollar fine for the first offence with subsequent fines of $200 dollars to follow each infraction afterwords. The one exception was that in a state of emergency, the driver can use a cell phone to call for help.

Studies conducted by the Canadian Automobile Association conclude that 20 to 40 per cent of all collisions are caused by driver distractions. The most recent data available today, says that eight out of ten collisions are caused by distractions.

Living Outside Your Relationship Box

You know those times when your relationship starts to feel stale, and the normal routine never seems to be enough. Every good relationship experiences a lull, and that’s when it’s time to kick the dust off the right side of your brain, and let those creative juices flow.

I don’t mean the kind of kick that lands you in the emergency room with a brain injury. Using your imagination, and opening your mind to new possibilities that may not have crossed your mind, will keep those sparks flying.

The usual flowers, chocolate, taking out the trash or I love you’s should not be taken for granted, but you both need to start thinking about new ideas, outside the box.

Have you taken a trip together recently? If you haven’t, it’s time to pack your bags or be spontaneous, and don’t even bother. Call the cab for a ride to the nearest airport. When you arrive at the terminal, look up at switchboard, and take the next available flight.

It doesn’t matter where it’s going, you’ll have a blast taking that blind leap, and it will leave a lasting impression that you can look back on with fond memories.

Having fun together should never be a chore, and it’s good to get out of the hustle, and bustle of everyday life, and experience an adventure that will keep you both, on the tips of your toes.

If you have kids or other work related responsibilities, you want to stay closer to home. Take a road trip to the hot springs or see a waterfall cascading down the mountainside. Camping, even if your in the middle of a swamp, can be a rewarding one night get-away, with the best part being, it won’t empty your wallet.

If you haven’t got much time, and you can’t bare to leave the kids behind, a night of singing, and dancing to folk music is a blast. Celtic dancing is easy, even for the less than astute dancers, and singing folk music will bring you out of your shell. Take it first hand that I’m not known for my dancing abilities, but the music is fun, and will inspire you to forget how you may look, and have the night of your life busting out those crazy legs.

Have a pint or don’t … It doesn’t matter. You’ll be dancing with the stars in the sky with a gleam in your eye.

Now lets take a trip through the milky way, and I don’t mean the stuff you put in your cereal in the morning. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to look into the night sky from the comfort of your patio enjoying the warm breeze of summer, knowing that your very own star, is shining thousands of miles away.

Now you can go online, Google, and for less than a cost of a trip for two to subway, you can have a star of your own. It’s romantic, will last a lifetime, and its something you can do together. Why shouldn’t you leave your mark on this Universe with the legacy of your very own star.

Take a cooking class together. Even if your already the Martha Stewart of cooking, it can be an enriching experience. Chances are one of you could use a few lessons, and by learning some new skills in the kitchen, you’ll be great help to your other half. Relationships are about working together as a team, and if you can take some of the load off your partner, and enjoy each others company, then do it.

If cooking is really not your cup of tea, take ballroom dancing or learn a new language. The important thing is your learning something new, and improving yourself while having fun together.

Whatever you do, make it something new.