A Montreal Fender-Bender

On the Saturday before Christmas my wife and I went to a local shopping mall for some last-minute odds and ends, having finally completed our shopping. The temperature was hovering around the freezing mark which was providing us with that much detested freezing rain. Snow is one thing, rain another, but the two mixed at one time usually results in a skating rink effect.

Snow is one thing, rain another, but the two mixed at one time usually results in a skating rink effect.

While leaving the parking lot, driving ever so slowly as the surface had yet to see any salt or abrasive, I came to a stop at a stop sign. Approaching the same little intersection on my left was another shopper. With the slippery surface, I waited to make certain he stopped before I advanced. That was my mistake, as in his attempt to stop he slid into my right front wheel.

I got out of the car and looked for damage. I found several pieces of plastic that I could not place until he pointed out that they were from his car. He apologized and, once I had confirmed that he was using snow tires, I graciously accepted. He pulled over to the side and prepared a paper with his name and contact information.

Interestingly he was a Francophone, but would only address me in English, while I did my best to communicate with him in French. Call it a typical Montreal fender-bender.

My wife and I had a good look at the car’s body and could not see any damage. So I went over to him, took his coordinates, shook his hand and we wished each other a Merry Christmas. Interestingly he was a Francophone, but would only address me in English, while I did my best to communicate with him in French. Call it a typical Montreal fender-bender.

Alas, it was not the fender that was bent, but a tie-rod. We noticed that the car was pulling to the left and that the steering wheel was not ‘true’ i.e it was off-center when driving straight. The replacement and a wheel alignment cost us $180. Did I contact the other driver? Naw. Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and accept that shit happens.

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

Global Warming Cuts Both Ways

As the frigid air continues to hover over the northeast of North America, comparisons are aplenty. The one above indicates the relative cozy -14C in Anchorage, Alaska while we in Montreal are freezing our asses off!! When all those folks comment on the very hot summer weather that now hits Montreal due to global warming, just remind them that it cuts both ways!

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

 

Extreme Cold Dos and Don’ts

Environment Canada has issued an Extreme Cold Warning for the Province of Quebec. The terribly cold air mass is bad enough, but when the wind blows the ‘feels like’ concept is bone-chilling, dipping to -40C (which is where the two scales meet, so it’s -40 Celsius or Fahrenheit).

The key to surviving this cold is to dress in layers; shirts and sweaters can always be removed if they prove to be too much. But getting halfway to your destination and realizing you are not suitably layered is another case indeed.

There are a number of don’ts, as well as dos; for instance, don’t forget a hat. So much body heat escapes via an uncapped noggin that even with a warm coat you will feel it. Don’t go out if you have respiratory problems as that cold gusting wind can take anyone’s breath away. Be vigilant to exposed skin, Frostnip is a superficial nonfreezing cold injury due to vasoconstriction. The skin will be pale and may have paresthesias or numbness. It is common on the cheeks, ears, and nose. The skin is still pliable. This is a major difference between frostnip and frostbite.

And perhaps most importantly DO NOT put your tongue on a frozen street pole or lamp standard, no matter how tempting it may be. Leave that for a warmer day, or preferably not at all. And if someone dares you to try it, do not fall for it. It is a scientific fact that your tongue will adhere to the frosty pole. I must confess that my pose in the above photo was purely for illustrative purposes, even I’m not dumb enough to really do that!!

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

A Proclivity for Misplacing Things

Cups

Some folks are forever losing their keys, some constantly misplace gloves, while others have a proclivity to forget where they put almost anything. I am one who can say that I do not share in any of these silly shortcomings. If only I could find those cups of coffee I picked up on the way home!!

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

 

Things to Cherish at Christmas

Certainly not a Christmas carol, but perhaps we can bend the rules a wee bit and hope that we all have health and happiness to cherish during this holiday season and beyond.

Merry Christmas

 

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

Epilepsy and Flashing Bridge Lights

Montreal’s Jacques Cartier Bridge has been fitted with a vast number of lights. This was done at significant expense and was not without detractors. It occurred to me when I saw the tweet above that the flashing lights, as they were set to do last night, may cause havoc with those who suffer from epilepsy.

I wonder if anyone did any research into this, or if the authorities had anyone calling for medical advice on the potential effect of flashing bridge lights on epileptics. Perhaps will we just find out serendipitously if the flashing can, in fact, induce a seizure, when someone loses control of their vehicle.

I am not epileptic, but flashing lights drive me (pun fully intended) batty.

 

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

Twitter Suspends Racist Account

A Britain’s First march in Dewsbury (Image: Andy Catchpool, Huddersfield Examiner)

The folks over at Twitter have taken action by suspending the account of Britain First, a far-right neo-nazi group. While many are praising Twitter for taking steps to block this sort of trash, others are questioning the mega-site’s role in freedom of expression.

I have to admit that no matter how egregious I find this vile group – and unfortunately many more like it – and their message of intolerance and violence, I cannot help but wonder if it is the place of Twitter to suspend the accounts. 

I have to admit that no matter how egregious I find this vile group – and unfortunately many more like it – and their message of intolerance and violence,  I cannot help but wonder if it is the place of Twitter to suspend the accounts. (Twitter has been clear that the account is “suspended” not deleted or permanently removed.)

The presentation of heinous racist tracts is not limited to Twitter, nor for that matter to the Internet. On far too many occasions groups like Britain First have protested in public; often inciting violence. These gatherings usually include people waving racist slogans and comments on placards. Should the vendors of the poster board, nails, glue and stick be held responsible for what the purchaser writes on it?

By providing the medium, does that make one responsible for the content presented thereon? Are obscene phone calls the telephone company’s fault?

By providing the medium, does that make one responsible for the content presented thereon? Are obscene phone calls the telephone company’s fault? I have difficulty relating the two parts of the equation. Newspapers have long been able to provide a forum for diverging points of view in the form of op-eds. The opinions expressed there are often clearly not those of the editorial board of the paper. Twitter to me is a forum. Had the atrocious Tweets originated from @twitter then I would be the first to jump on them, but they come from a third party.

No doubt some will point out that Twitter makes a whole lot of money from these accounts through advertising revenues. I would suggest it is incumbent upon the advertisers to pull their sponsorship; and on us, the Twitter users and casual readers, to ignore these sites.

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+