June 30, 2014
I quite like gelato and Italian ices, but I much prefer old-fashioned soft-serve ice cream. Finally, at the Maz Market, 1346 Commercial, we can now get it on the Drive.
They have what they call Ice Screamers: fill up half a glass with flavoured slush, pipe in a layer of vanilla soft-serve, and then fill up the glass with more slush. I didn’t want the flavoured slush and so handed the cashier a half-glass of soft-serve, naked. He was a bit nonplussed at first, but we quickly agreed a price, and I just as quickly ate the ice cream.
What a pleasure on a sunny day! Now all we need is soft-serve in a waffle cone!
My apologies to any other place on the Drive that has soft-serve without me knowing.
June 30, 2014
As regular readers will know, many of us here in Grandview are disturbed by the process the Planners have chosen in the re-set of our Community Plan. The Our Community, Our Plan group has issued a challenge to the City planners. In a firmly worded open letter to the Mayor, Council, and Planning Department, the residents’ group pose a series of questions regarding the process being used to create the Citizens’ Assembly that will drive the Grandview-Woodland Community Plan to conclusion.
1. How does the proposed recruitment process ensure a democratic representation?
2. What is necessary to ensure the CA’s final recommendations are incorporated, in their entirety, into the final Grandview –Woodland Neighbourhood Plan?
In addition, the letter poses more general questions to the Planning Department:
1. What population growth targets were used to determine the density?
2. What planning principles determined the location and form of development?
The letter concludes with:
As a show of good faith, we request the Planning Department suggest a date to meet before proceeding with any further work of the CA. We request a written response … by Tuesday July 15, 2014.
Now we await a response.
In the meantime, I am still bothered by the fact that a City Council Terms of Reference and a City Council approved budget have both been shredded by the bureaucrats and staff without it having to go back to Council for re-approval. Who’s running this City?
June 29, 2014
Yet again Facebook comes up with its own reasons why we should not be using it. This time, we discover they have been deliberately manipulating users emotions to conduct an unethical social experiment.
They tweaked the algorithm by which Facebook sweeps posts into members’ news feeds, using a program to analyze whether any given textual snippet contained positive or negative words. Some people were fed primarily neutral to happy information from their friends; others, primarily neutral to sad. Then everyone’s subsequent posts were evaluated for affective meanings …
Facebook’s methodology raises serious ethical questions. The team may have bent research standards too far, possibly overstepping criteria enshrined in federal law and human rights declarations. “If you are exposing people to something that causes changes in psychological status, that’s experimentation,” says James Grimmelmann, a professor of technology and the law at the University of Maryland. “This is the kind of thing that would require informed consent.”
The Slate article concludes:
Over the course of the study, it appears, the social network made some of us happier or sadder than we would otherwise have been. Now it’s made all of us more mistrustful.
Of course, just thinking about all those millions of people being sucked into Facebook’s maw makes me sadder every day.
Previous reasons not to use Facebook.
June 28, 2014
The everloving has, as every year, made a wonderful job of our limited patio space. In this section, we have geraniums, clematis, ferns, tumbler tomatoes, carrots and various herbs. Elsewhere we have roma tomatoes, blueberry plants, pansies, a huge jade, and more geraniums. It is a wonderful time of year.
Click on picture for a much better image.
June 28, 2014
I spent time this morning and lunchtime celebrating our heritage neighbourhood with the Grandview Heritage Group at their annual birthday bash. This year we were at Mosaic Park.
We had quite a few of the owners of the properties that had Centenary Signs from us this year, and a lot of drop-ins who helped share our birthday cake and stories. Apparently because the gods smile on the good, we had a perfect window between the rains from 10:30 to 12:30.
In the next little while, a more comprehensive photo-story of the party will be up at the GHG site.
June 27, 2014
Like most Grandview-Woodland residents, I received today my invitation to apply for one of the tiny number of seats on the GW Citizens’ Assembly which is supposed to advance the completion of the GW Community Plan. I do not expect to be chosen because I am, of course, one of “the usual suspects” they are seeking to exclude by this process.
I have written about this dreadful and disrespectful process endlessly (posts just from earlier this month about this sorry process can be found here, here, here, and here) and so I thought it would be interesting to share some of the comments that have been sent to me today by other residents.
- “The appointment of a non-GW chair (obviously paid, as well) is simply outrageous. Not to mention the frequent reference to “experts” and the engagement of a high-powered consultant firm.”
- “I really do not support their process. I think they are arrogant and do not have the citizens best interest in mind.”
- “They have set it up so you have to commit to many Saturdays from 9-4 that to me sounds a bit exclusionary. Its all weird.”
- “As we well know, their assembly will be orchestrated to produce the results they want.”
Those are just from emails I have received in the last couple of hours. I doubt it is going to get any better.
June 27, 2014
Today we celebrate the birthday in 1869 of the glorious and inspirational Emma Goldman. Long may she live in our memory.