Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Charity Christmas Cards

I have received some 200 Christmas cards from the various charities that I have supported in the past. Along with the notebooks, the pens and stickers these are all unsolicited and not wanted.

In fact, it is arrogant for a charity, who solicit funds by writing appeals to the heart, to turn around and waste this money by sending Christmas cards, notes and pens that nobody wants or needs.

I will send each of these charities a Christmas card, and my note will read "Since you insist on wasting my money on this card, it is clear that you no longer need my support"

Monday, September 12, 2011

Ottawa Bicycle Club Summer End Century Tour

The Ottawa Bicycle Club is Ottawa's oldest bike club and is over 100 years old. It is a club that truly has something for everyone including time trials, races, tours and many speed groups.

For those of you who may be intimidated by the riding style of the OBC, don't be. Pack riding is disciplined, fun and enables you to cover greater distances and greater speeds. Our stops are shorter and we drink and eat as we ride, all of that makes for more efficient and fun rides. The OBC offers some great overnight tours as well.


One of these tours is the Summers End Century Tour, or SECT. This from Ottawa to Cornwall and back again. The ride starts at Kelseys where your bags are picked up. You start in your speed catagory and off you go, either for 100km or 100 miles. The SECT tour is one of the nicest bike tours ever and here are the reasons:

1) We ride in a peleton. This is usually a double peleton which allows you time to chat and ride at a fast clip;
2) Drafting means that I rode 100 miles in a little over 5 hours;
3) The riders are polite and very friendly;
4) The rest stops are wonderful;
4) The number of participants is not huge. We had 50 riders. You will not be swamped or lost in a crowd. Our riding groups were limited to 12;
5) The little towns that you ride through are beautiful and charming; and,
3) The overnight stop in Cornwall is great

We have an overnight stop at the Navcan centre in Cornwall. This has a wonderful little pub with Karaoke. Celine Dion, the beach boys, Sonny and Cher and possibly Elvis were all present for Karaoke night. Did you know there is a song called Cheeseburger in paradise? Neither did I. Our evening meal was beautifully served and included succulent ribs, mash, corn chowder soup, a plethora of salads, rice, peas and a table full of desserts. Our riders ordered wine with our dinner...nothing says a good 100 miles than ribs and a bottle of MASI wine.

The resort is large, comfortable and beautifully situated on the St. Lawrence seaway.

On the second day we rode back and I chose to ride 135km rather than a full 100 miles. The highlights of the stop back were a wonderful lunch in Russell complete with homemade carrot cake and other delicious salads and cookies, and the beautiful little towns on the way home. The ride ended at Kelseys which is a stones throw from my home. In short, the ideal bike tour.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Tweets and Twits

I am fascinated by people's use of Twitter. They tweet everything from "I am having lunch" to some of their deeper psychological states, such as self loathing, or state of sobriety. What interests me is their staunch belief that by sharing such intimate details of their lives on a minute by minute basis with their followers that somehow they will be closer to that community.

It is an illusion of intimacy based on tweets that are typed into a telephone throughout the day. The Tweets are not merely "where are you lets meet for coffee" but expressions of angst and sometimes painful loneliness.

I think some Twitter addicts actually believe that they are maintaining and nurturing friendships in this way and that their endless prattle about what they are doing fosters intimacy. Intimacy cannot be attained by this way. Intimacy involves physical contact, of having a cup of coffee with your friend, of going to a movie with someone..of being physically present. A few clicks on a keypad and a send is a very poor substitute for real communication and presence.

I suspect that people search for intimacy in tweets and post very personal and revealing details about themselves. Do they hope that their audience will respond to them? What if you tweet and no one replies?

Twitter gives one the illusion of having friends, much like 'friends' on facebook. It allows you to share thoughts, feelings and actions with an audience that may or may not care. Real intimacy and real community cannot be maintained or nurtured in this way. To tweet in the hopes of connecting with others is to be a twit.

Karine's Blog

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