Over-Engineering A Non-Problem

January 21, 2017

This afternoon I walked over to the WISE Hall to see what the City Engineers want to do to the Victoria and Adanac intersection to make it “safer” and “more comfortable” for all users — Adanac being an official bike route.

There were half a dozen keen and eager City workers, five or six display boards, and four civilians, including me.

I thought the display boards were very informative, describing in some detail the work they wanted to do at various intersections on the route from downtown to east of Nanaimo Street.However, I don’t know the circumstances at most of those, and so it is difficult for me to comment.

With regard to the Adanac and Victoria intersection, just half a block from where I live, I have a much clearer picture and it seems to me that the heavy work proposed — traffic median, changes to right of way turns, parking changes — are a major intervention to solve a minor problem.  Yes, a marked crosswalk would be a useful addition, but I rarely see any major issues at that corner. At Salsbury and Adanac we don’t even need that.

I spoke with an acquaintance at the meeting and she said much the same about plans at Lakewood near where she lives.

The questionnaire handed out at the meeting was informative and allowed the chance to discuss each individual part of the suggested changes. They were much better than questionnaires previously encountered.  Still, this was simply a better managed example of a top-down, what do you think of our ideas session rather than a true dialogue about concepts.

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Kisenasato Wins — At Last!

January 21, 2017

kisenasatoThe ever-loving and I have watched every sumo tournament since about 2000. A couple of years after we started watching, a young Japanese rikiski turned pro; this was Kisenasato.  We have watched his rise as he moved swiftly though the ranks and was promoted to ozeki — the sport’s second highest rank — by January 2012.

This was an important step because the highest ranks of sumo — including the highest rank of yokozuna —  had been dominated by Mongolian rikishi for almost two decades.  The three current yokozuna are all Mongolians, and the last Japanese-born yokozuna retired in 2003.

Kisenasato has been the “great white hope” of Japanese sumo for many years now but, until today, he always fell a disappointing one bout or two below what what was needed to win at least one of the six-a-year tournaments (bashos). It is imperative that at least one basho victory– and usually two — are required before a rikishi can be promoted to yokozuna.  For this New Year basho, Kisenasato came with a determination we don’t always see from him. He is at 13 wins and 1 loss, with just one bout left. His nearest competitor has three loses, so he cannot be caught.

The last Japanese to win a basho, a year ago — and the first at that point for ten years — has already slipped out of the highest ranks by his failure to maintain the standard required.  With this win, Kisenasato has strengthened his position as crown prince, and we can only hope that he can repeat the performance and grab the long-wished-for promotion.


Image: Bannisters

January 21, 2017

banisters


Dinner Tonight #11

January 21, 2017

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Shrimp cakes, naked dressed tomatoes, with orange and fennel salad. Mmmm mmmm.