Canada Day Holiday That Won’t End

Just before 1pm on Canada Day, my life nearly ended. I became suddenly dead, but people nearby and emergency responders got my heart started again and onto a cooling bed at the General Hospital well before 2pm. I remember none of Canada Day 2014 firsthand.

I’m:
Off work. For months.
Not allowed to drive a motor vehicle for months (fortunately already well adapted).
Not allowed to bike for more days (this is harder in the Summer).

Aside from the staples in my chest, there is no way to tell I’ve recently been in hospital. Well, the pile of cards, and gift basket is a hint I suppose.

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Regina Library Consultations

Tonight kicked off consultations set to restart in September after the Summer holidays.
Presentations focused on what Libraries can become, have been, and look like inside and out.
There is a skepticism to overcome after the last failed Library renovation plan was made without public consultation.

I work in a library every day, answering technology questions, but I am not a traditional library staff person, in that I don’t deal with books or reference questions or services.

Speaking as a library and computer technology expert, ebooks have significant issues to overcome.

Ebooks can be easily censored. I’ve never checked an eBook out of the library in large part to them requiring DRM and proprietary software. People with low technology skills have great difficulty using them, and have no ability to protect themselves from censorship carried out through electronic removal of eBook access.


Note that I’ve seen this happen:
Libraries are sometimes reorganized to justify jobs of administrators, and not out of a community driven desire for change. Some changes of this nature work out anyway. Others are done to use up a budget, or justify the size of an existing one, so it is more likely to be granted again.

#Downtown Safety Update

RDBID plans to have regular public meetings such as this one I went to last evening.

Street Culture Kidz Project

#Transit has hired two security guards for info centre & to patrol. Things have been going well. Worked with RPS to communicate problems.

Increased shelter cleaning, and heated/lighted shelters installed, by the Fall. #downtown #Transit #Yay

Regina Police have officers who can be consulted by businesses on “Crime prevention through environmental design”. I hope that doesn’t mean #homelessSpikes like in the news elsewhere…

[2] Days Without A Break-in

It’s more than a little disconcerting to wake up at 4am to the sound of someone trying to climb into your kitchen window. This was the sound that startled my girlfriend awake, and she was able to tell it wasn’t an insignificant noise made by the cats. My heart leaped into my throat as she started yelling from the living room at the intoxicated man awkwardly trying to push his way through the torn window screen. I raced around the corner of the hallway, envisioning grabbing a weapon to defend us from an intruder. A vision of the armed intruder scene in the movie Sixth Sense flashed across my brain.

In the end, the drunkard left after muttering some unjustified bad words to my girlfriend who’d scared him away, and the police responded in short minutes since they were a few blocks away already looking for this (young, white) guy. Obviously he’d scared someone else too before he got into our back-yard, and almost into our window.

Break and Enter attempt. Police caught the guy.

The now very awake us, and children, calmed down sufficiently over the next hour to get back to sleep. Not a typical Saturday night, but one having us considering a better fence, and others even mentioning window bars (which I feel would be an over-reaction). The worst thing is that this isn’t the first time my girlfriend has had to scare away a window-intruder, at different addresses (in different cities).

Keeping a sense of humour is important, so yesterday I mentioned that we could hang a sign up noting it’s been [2] Days without a break-in. The Simpsons’ [0] Days without a tornado, sign probably inspired my brain for that actually-not-funny joke.

Can’t Even Hitch-hike Away From Regina #YQRcc

Regina is such a fantastic place to be, that your City Council wants to remind you that it’s illegal to try to leave it by vehicle without paying for the privilege.

It’s a somewhat bold strategy to Grow Regina by keeping it illegal to hitch-hike away from the Queen City, or offer to take anyone with you if you’re making an escape, but I’m sure the Councillors in favour of the bylaw have thought it through thoroughly.

Fortunately the closest hitchhiker friendly municipalities are sufficiently far from the Queen City, that once a hitchhiker traveling across the country by the nationally famous Trans-Canada Highway disembarks here, they’ll have to hire a bus or licensed cab to get out. It would take over 12 hours to walk to Moose Jaw; few are likely to attempt it. It would be almost pointless anyway, since Moose Jaw also has this sort of amazing bylaw. Facing this legal and financial quandary, they’ll more than likely opt to settle here, thus boosting our tax base.

Following the example set out in our city’s bylaws, should I see a distressed person at the side of the road in Regina, I’ll be certain to drive past them, lest they misinterpret my slowing down as an enticement to enter my vehicle. Such a misplaced deed could cost me $110, and the attempted hitchhiker $110 too.

Seeing too that “Soliciting business from a vehicle” is illegal, I’ll give those apparently nefarious food trucks on the Plaza downtown, a wide berth this Summer. I’ll report any rogue carwash fundraisers at schools, to the appropriate authorities.

I really must congratulate this City Council for preparing for high-tech ride-sharing services that have become popular in many cities, notably Uber and Lyft. With these updated fines, everyone should get the message loud and clear that Regina is closed to high-tech ride services right down to the low tech thumbing of rides.

By the time we catch up to the rest of the continent, we’ll be so far behind the times, we’ll think we’re ahead.

Switching gears from satire to serious, I think this Bylaw encourages my fellow citizens to show a lack of human decency to their fellow people. If someone is rich enough they can pay to solicit from a roadside with a large sign, but if someone tries to hold a cardboard sign there to have enough for bus fare or a meal (or even to oppose political incumbents), they’ll be harassed by police.

Some of this bylaw is in fact targeted at poor people, or temporary guests in our city. It would be ridiculous for police to enforce the hitchhiking bylaw, and if they do it will unjustly target people poorer than you or I.

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In regards to the Traffic Bylaw being discussed at Council on Monday, I’d like to note that I think Wascana Parkway should be 50km/h limited at the intersections of Kramer Blvd, and also University Dr. North. There are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of pedestrian crossings at these intersections each day, and the 70km/h limit is not putting pedestrian safety first. The speed limit being too high is also causing problems in serving the area’s residents with better Regina Transit bus stop locations.

ADDED:
The City contacted me Tuesday morning to note that they are likely going ahead with the bus stop install before September this year!

Solar Tour 2014

Originally posted on Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff:

Cowessess Wind Developments Ltd. turbine.
800kW at 32mi/h
tailless, computer controlled.
Has Li-ion batteries.
Solar Tour Regina

Solar Tour Regina
Solar farm and home system of 10kW
Inverter anti-islanding. Prevents electrifying the grid while grid is down.
Isolation ring for the meter can be installed so you can attach a generator to the house to let the inverter keep working during a grid failure.

A Canadian report of a 2008 study of cities over 200,000 people around the world, listed Regina as sixth best in the world for solar energy generation potential.

Kelln has a system for pumping cattle water, that motion detects cattle, pumps up water to a bowl, and then lowers it below the frost line after the cattle have left.

Solar panels have passed the $1/Watt holy grail.
$500/Watt at the beginning.

250W panels on Toronto St. install.
Pool inside.

Solar Tour Regina
Namerind put a system on a rest home. The Resting Place south of…

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