Lazy Sunday Afternoon

Labour Day weekend in Canada is basically about football games, end of summer camping trip or last minute shopping for school supplies.  On the Island it is pretty laid back except for this year no last minute back to school rush.  No it’s more about last minute looking for daycare arrangements.  In fact I’m pretty sure there will be an increase in end of summer camping trips with many families hoping Sasquatch carries away little Johnny for a couple of weeks.  So that’s my take on Labour Day except to say, it is a long time between Christmas and Easter, so maybe we should have a national holiday in mid January, say Conception Day.

Anyway I’m screwing around on my computer and watching people walk by outside.  I have just recently moved into this suite so still getting use to the area.  I’m a corner suite with street level windows.  My computer is set up in the corner with a large window on each side looking in difference directions and one being the public sidewalk.

This building is only a year old and pretty solid.  I’m told it meets all of the earthquake standards but trust me in the event of an earthquake a guy in a wheelchair isn’t going anywhere anyways.  On the up side it is completing wired with fibre optics, no copper and has its own washer/dryer.  I do have some criteria that I like to look for in my living arrangements but when you rent sight unseen you sometimes have to adjust ones expectations.  One of the important ones is a sense of community.  I have been very lucky in the past ten years.

The neighbours I have met to date are very friendly and social.  It’s also a family building with kids of varying age around the building.  This is a good thing for the days my grandson comes over.  The building is also smoke free and part of our rental agreement is not only not smoking in the suite but smoking right off of the property.  And the little wooded area across the street is where the smokers in the building go.  

After about a week I was able to identify what appears to be a social circle of the smokers.  Different groups would accumulate on the corner across from me and have their smokes while conducting water cooler like discourse.  Having abandoned smoking almost twenty years ago I had very little reason to join them except for the occasional recreational purpose.  Plus it allowed me to get to know some of my neighbours.

Sorry had to get a drink of water. Just went across the street and my mouth was dry as a popcorn fart but better now.  I was chatting up the fellow who lives above me who also uses this opportunity to walk his dog.  Good guy, nice little dog.  Lots of dogs in this building as well and the overall community appears to like taking their relaxed strolls around the area.

So we are talking and I glance across the street, at the building I live in but can’t smoke on the property in, when two guys walk in front of the building both smoking. They’re not bothering anybody, just walking along casually having one of those pleasant sunny afternoon chat.  I realize they don’t live in the building so they can smoke where they want.  My neighbour, quite innocently, says something about it not being fair.  They can smoke there but we can’t.  To bad so many people confuse “fair” with “common sense” so I took that opportunity to give him, politely, my take. 

Nobody is really bothering anyone in this scenario so what the hell. That sidewalk, although maintained by the building, is municipal property so anyone can use it according to city by-laws, which have much more precedents than building policies.

When I run it through my head (which is much faster than me wheeling back up that hill) I realized that neither parties were really interfering with each others.  They were all attending to the regulations that affect them (awareness or not).  In fact, from my point of view, people who adhere to civilized behaviour by nature and not because of some regulatory system make better citizens.  They have common sense.

Anyway the smoking thing, no one was in the wrong so why make an issue of it.  Sometimes we just have to manage our piece of imagery on our own little square of the tapestry of life and this is one of those times.  

If someone doesn’t have enough common sense to recognize this isn’t worth getting into a battle with a bunch of bureaucratic nightmares then they are an idiot.  To decide to pursue “fairness” and use the “proper channels” would cost ridiculous amounts of regulatory staff time and resources. If we really want to see effective budget cuts then recognize where you can use common sense and not pursue a non-issue into a tax payer paid for exercise.  That’s called common sense and sometimes we have to accept responsibility (as in “personal responsibility”, to be devoid of the need for some redundant regulation because you don’t want to make a decision) in order to use common sense.

On the upside the local Timmy’s is an easy ten minute wheel (and that is now when I am out of shape) so getting out and exercised almost daily.  Need that but I am settled.

And now time for a snack. Got a tupperware container full of red, yellow and orange peppers all sliced up. Going to pretend I’m trying to lose weight and munch down on fibre full of water!  The life of a retired social activist, what a bitch 🙂

Just one man’s opinion!


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