Christmas Gifts – Giving to Charity

Friday, November 19, 2004 by Michelle

Christmastime is just around the corner and perhaps now is a good time to stop and think about what on earth the consumer frenzy is all about. A number of years ago, we opted out of Christmas with all adults (kids get books or craft stuff). Instead of gifts people probably don't want/need, we give to charities to honour the people we give to and/or spend time with people who we love who live nearby. And it's catching on! Check out Buy Nothing Christmas for ideas. Supporting local agencies will ensure your Christmas money will be far more useful to society than yet another tie/blender/computer game/etc. While you're at it, why not celebrate Buy Nothing Day on Friday, November 26, 2004.

Use “Snopes” People!

Wednesday, November 10, 2004 by Michelle

People forwarding emails to me that are hoaxes is so frustrating. I even have people forwarding me hoaxes with the message, "Michelle, could you check to see if this email is a hoax?" A simple search on the internet using key words from the email and the word "hoax" usually shows the email for what it is - rubbish. A few moments of simple searching can prevent your friend's email boxes from being filled with trash from you. Please, don't pass on hoaxes. Take a moment to check out forwarded emails to see if they're legit.

Medical “Care”

Sunday, August 22, 2004 by Michelle

We had some health care moments this week. We learned a few interesting things, such as:

  • Do not go into a walk-in clinic and see whoever is there. Two minutes later, you'll walk out with a misdiagnosis and the wrong medication for your misdiagnosis.
  • The wait line at the emergency ward is horrendous, and this was particularly brought home by a nurse we chatted with for a bit. She said the only time the emergency room ran smoothly was when the official "counters" (people paid to count emergency patients and how long they're there) were there so our premier could say that he's helped reduce waiting time. Don't believe it for a second!
  • If you do have to stay overnight, don't expect a bed before midnight, even if you've been there since 7:30 am. We were in emergency, with dozens of people waiting to get in, from 7:30 am to 1:00 am... almost 18 hours! And the ward my husband ended up on had empty beds, including the other one in his room which remained empty the entire time we were there. We heard it was because it kept the expenses higher in emergency and lower in the ward the person eventually would end up in.
  • You'll have to clean your own bathroom, even after it has been cleaned. There were some obviously used stuff in there that had what looked like some blood on it, and there was a bit of blood on the sink. So, without touching anything, after more than a day of this, we just cleaned it ourselves. Yuck, gross and no wonder people pick up nasty bugs in the hospital.
  • Junk food machines, pop machines and greasy food seem to be in abundance. Nurses admitted they pretty much lived off the junk food, which I found ironic and sad in a health care setting. The cafeteria food had some shaped chicken, greasy fish, fries and onion rings, all with some "gravy" that looked to be 100 years old. Nasty!! I won't go in to more detail as it makes me woozy.
All that being said, the doctors and nurses were very helpful and caring, and we're very appreciative of them. We realize that politics and cutbacks have created most of the problems we saw, including a lack of sufficient numbers of cleaning staff. If you ask me, health care in Canada needs to be better run without the stupid budget politics, provincial government posturing and BS. The doctors, nurses and support staff do a great job with limited resources... don't we all wish that the "top brass" in health care and the government would step up to the mat and do likewise?

How to choose to not drive

Friday, June 11, 2004 by Michelle

Continuing with the idea of changing behaviour by making the behaviour more costly, we're also choosing to donate $5 to the David Suzuki Foundation (see side link) each time we drive short distances instead of bike, walk or take transit. At the end of each month, we'll send them a cheque. What do you think? Are you willing to join us in this crazy venture?