Montreal Bans Wood Fireplaces

Sounds like a great idea to ban wood fireplaces to reduce fine particle pollution in Montreal and I’m sure it is. I’m just a little upset as to why I have to cover all the costs to convert my wood fireplace to an environmentally friendly fireplace. It’s thousands upon thousands of dollars to convert and Montreal doesn’t aid in any way to offset the extreme expense. So, I’m a solid citizen making Montreal a better place environmentally. Overall, worldwide will it make at difference? Not at all, nada, zip, zero, it will still get worse! From the Global Coal Plant TrackerCoal Plants by Country (Power Stations) to July 2018 30MW and larger. The total for the top 100 countries is 270. China 130 under construction and 106 Announced, pre-Permit or Permitted; India 41 and 47; Indonesia 20 (50); Vietnam 9 (27); Turkey 3 (39); Bangladesh 4 (19); Philippines 9 (16); Japan 13 (13); Pakistan 4 (10); Mongolia 3, Poland 4, Taiwan 2, Russia 3 etc. There is another table Coal Plants by Country (Units) with larger numbers adding up to 491 under construction with 790 Announced, Pre-Permit and Permitted. This seems to indicate that plants can have more than one unit. So, if I had a thousand fireplaces in my house it would be miniscule compared to new coal plants being built. I am surprised that the extra smoke from marijuana is allowed! One last point. I know that these guys want to make a living, but why doesn’t the law apply to wood ovens used for making bagels or pizzas. They are used way more often than my fireplace, yet they get a pass!

West Island Drivers

I really don’t understand the West Island driver mentality. Everybody ignores traffic rules. OK, maybe only 99.9 %.

Essentially no one stops for stop signs. I figure that about 1 in 100 actually stop. No one adheres to the speed limits.  When I walk my dog by a school, people race by at 50  to 60 kph in a 30 kph zone! I wave at them to slow down and they speed up or honk or whatever. Most of them live in the neighbourhood. Hardly anybody respects the speed limits. My other pet peeve is with drivers that tailgate. I’m following a driver that is going below the speed limit and leaving the recommended stopping distance between us. I have an a**hole driver behind me tailgating for no reason. It’s very simple to know if you are too close, residential or highway.

The two-second rule is a rule of thumb by which a driver may maintain a safe trailing distance at any speed.[1][2] The rule is that a driver should ideally stay at least two seconds behind any vehicle that is directly in front of his or her vehicle. 

To estimate the time, a driver can wait until the rear end of the vehicle in front passes any distinct and fixed point on the roadway—e.g. a road sign, mailbox, line/crack/patch in the road. After the car ahead passes a given fixed point, the front of one’s car should pass the same point no less than two seconds later. If the elapsed time is less than this, one should increase the distance, then repeat the method again until the time is at least two seconds.

OK, here’s a sample of bad drivers on Montreal’s West Island.

Don’t Honk Your Horn When Remote Locking Your Car

Why do people insist on honking their horn when they lock their car? The following is what the SAAQ has to say on their website.

REMOTE KEYLESS LOCKING SYSTEMS

Remote keyless locking systems make noises that are generally less annoying than the sound of a horn.

However, you should restrict their use, to avoid annoying neighbours or startling pedestrians and cyclists.

HOW TO REDUCE OR AVOID CONFIRMATION “BEEPS”

  • Press the remote only once to lock the vehicle’s doors and flash the lights. This will avoid sounding the signal that confirms that the doors are locked.
  • When getting out of your car, press on the door’s lock button instead of using the remote.
  • Use your key regularly to keep your lock in good working order and the key from getting stuck. In addition, you’ll avoid annoying your neighbours with the sound of your remote locking system.

DEACTIVATING THE SOUND WARNING DEVICE

It is usually possible to deactivate the sound warning device. Check your vehicle owner’s manual or contact your vehicle dealership to find out how to do so.

You can always reactivate this function if you need to.

Are You Still Buying Bottled Water?

Are you nuts?

You’re paying money for water that you can get for free from your household tap plus a fee for a plastic bottle that will probably not be recycled. It boggles my mind,. I’ll maybe let it go if you’re buying sparkling water, you have money to throw away, but anyone buying regular water are, how do i put it gently….. stupid. Why in the world would you think that bottled water is better for you? Water has 0 levels of everything. OK, if you live in Flint, Michigan then you’re screwed. But everywhere else in the US and Canada the water from the tap is good to drink. When I worked in Guinea, Africa, we had a small water purification plant for the camp in the jungle at 720 m elevation for 400 people. That water was rated safe to drink while the bottled water bought for emergencies was rated contaminated.

François Legault’s Policy On Hijabs

So, the newly elected premier of Quebec wants to outlaw hijabs because they’re a religious symbol that are worn by people in public service jobs.. That is outright stupid. So, given that he has a majority government, the law will probably pass. Now the question is, how will it be applied? The Law, as I understand it, will not allow display of religious symbols by individuals in positions of authority.  So what this means is that there will be no hijabs and the like, no Sheikh turbans , no Christian crosses visible. There will be no priests or nuns working in government or schools that can wear their robes. Since churches are public services funded by the government (free of taxes) , what do those people wear? If you’re a Catholic with a visible necklace with a cross, that’s not acceptable. I can’t even start on what other religions may wear religious garb in public. Really, this guy is a complete a**hole. If the law goes through, and I don’t see the cross on Mount Royal dismantled, then I will downgrade my a**hole rating of Legault to wtf.

So just to clarify, the legislation will outlaw religious symbols in government jobs if they are not Christian. Christians can flaunt their religion whenever they want.

The CAQ has no intention of removing the crucifix that hangs behind the Speaker’s chair in the province’s National Assembly.

François Legault stated that “The crucifix hanging in Quebec’s National Assembly is a historical symbol, not a religious one, even though it represents the Christian values of the province’s two colonial ancestors.” What a crock! First off, the cross is obviously a religious symbol, give me a break. Second, Protestants do not place crosses in buildings or wear crosses around their neck.

No Celebrity Diet Required

This is for all the people that choose to use a celebrity diet to lose weight or any other special diet. Just eat as the Canada Food Guide advises. I got close to following the guide lines, but the results were awesome.

In March 2015, I had an appointment with my doctor for a routine check-up and review of my blood tests. My blood glucose (HbA1C) level was high. My doctor informed me that I had higher blood glucose than normal but there was no direction as what I should do. At the time, I didn’t know, but I was at the pre-diabetes level of blood sugar. My girl-friend was making or buying lots of cakes, cookies, etc. and serving them to me. I was happily consuming them plus candies, chocolates, etc. I figured that the problem was caused by the sweets I was consuming.

I decided to cut out cakes, ice cream and to reduce cookie and chocolate intake. I figured that it was simple to reduce sugar levels.

I had another blood test on September 19th, 2016. My HbA1C level was 6.35. We are talking almost diabetic level.  Normal HbA1C level is below 5.7; pre-diabetes level is between 5.7 and 6.5; with diabetes level being 6.5 and over.  My doctor prescribed 250 mg of Metformin twice daily.

Another blood test on December 19th, 2016 showed my HbA1C level at 6.45. My Metformin dosage was increased to 500 mg twice daily.

I asked my doctor if there was a program to learn about lowering blood sugar to prevent diabetes and she told me that, yes, there was.  It is a program given by the Quebec government and it is free. My doctor signed me up for the program for people with Type 2 diabetes.

I attended a class in January 2017 where they explained the Canadian food guide and recommended diets for diabetics. I made some minor changes to my diet; eliminating fruit juices, cookies, chips, etc. from my diet.

As part of the program, I had an appointment with a health nurse in March 2017, she informed me that my latest HbA1C level was at 6.55, diabetic level. She also informed me that a second reading at the same value or higher at my next test in three months would define me as a diabetic. When my weight was checked, I was at 200 lbs (90.7 kg), with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 2.5; so I was overweight; fat. Normal BMI is from 18.5 to 25.0; which translates to 144 lbs (65.3 kg) to 195 lbs (88.5 kg) range for my height (6’ 2” / 1.88 m).

That was my wake-up call. Something had to be done. After procrastinating since 2015 I needed a plan. Failing to plan is planning to fail. So, I reviewed all my eating and drinking habits and decided what I would have to do.

The main message from the free course given by the Quebec government was that a Type 2 diabetic had to:

  • Reduce carbohydrate intake to between 165 and 240 grams a day if you eat 2,000 calories per day (225 to 325 grams a day when not diabetic);
  • Reduce calorie intake to 2,150 to 2,650 kcal per day;
  • Reduce salt intake to 1,500 to 2,300 mg per day;
  • Moderate exercise for at least 150 minutes per week;
  • Follow the Canadian nutrition guide.

One other issue I had was high blood pressure. After years of off and on smoking, mostly on, I quit for in September 2016. That helped in reducing my blood pressure. Reducing my weight, reducing my salt intake and exercising more would also reduce my blood pressure.

So, first off, I reduced one of the huge contributors of carbohydrates. One of my problems was the type of beer that I was drinking. Three of the draft beer that I was consuming has carbohydrates levels equal to 75% of the carbohydrates that a diabetic could have daily. I switched to light beers and/or clear alcohol.

So, I created an Excel workbook and imported carbohydrate, calorie and sodium details for all food that I was consuming. The spreadsheets were updated to incorporate new food items when required. I also incorporated the Canada’s Food Guide recommendations.  I keep a daily record of my food, drink and snack intake in the workbook. The carbohydrate, calorie and salt intake values are calculated and the graphs are updated. Along with other test results I was able to produce the spreadsheets and graphs shown below.

At first, I was measuring blood pressure and blood sugar levels every day. Over the months up to now, I reduced the number of blood pressure and blood sugar readings. Now I take measurements once a week.

I weigh myself once a week.

I changed my diet to try to follow the carbs level outlined by the program. Over three months I reduced my blood sugar level (HbA1C) from 6.55 to 6.2 (June 2017). I am hardly ever near the recommended value for consumption of vegetables nor fruits as recommended by the Canadian food guide. Still got work to do!

I could reduce my calorie and carbohydrate intake by a good margin if I didn’t drink, but that is my only vice. I don’t smoke, I can’t sing and I don’t have a girlfriend, so I’ll keep the one vice.

I have a dog, so I presently walk her about 2.5 to 3 kilometers a day. In the summer, I walk the course playing golf, exercise cutting the grass, doing yard work and chores in the house. In the winter I obviously can’t golf or work in the yard. But I still walk the dog, shovel snow and do house hold chores. In the winter I walk about 6,000 steps a day and I am moderately active for about an hour each day. I can also do some simple exercises with 10-pound weights if I want to. So, in the warm weather I can lose weight, while in the cold weather I just maintain the same weight. As I understand it, weight loss / gain is dependant on 80% calorie intake and 20% exercise.

Anyway, by September 2017, my HbA1C level was down to 5.9. Still pre-diabetic but getting there. My weight was down to 175 pounds. I only want to lose 5 more pounds which will melt off easily once I start playing golf in the spring.

Now it has been nine months since I started my new life style and I have no intention of changing it. I never radically changed my diet; I only reduced carbohydrate intake and reduced portion size. I just stopped eating most cookies, cakes, juices, etc., but I’ll still have the occasional treat.

And to finish it off, my latest HbA1C level test was at 5.6; in the normal range. I have stopped taking the Metformin (for high blood sugar) and will monitor my blood sugar at regular intervals.

So, this just shows that you don’t need a special diet. Just follow the Canadian Food Guide and exercise a moderate amount to stay healthy.