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All In Hand

Here you'll find the sum total of Miss Vicky's Remarks thus far.

Infrastructure Priorities

Miss Vicky Tue Aug 26, 2008

So Queen's Park has come through with some bucks for municipal infrastructure... 1.1 billion dollars, of which 77.2 million are coming to Ottawa. Now, there's been lots of talk about the inadequacies of Ottawa's sewer system in recent months, largely thanks to the revelation that every time it rains hard we dump loads of raw sewage into the Ottawa River... and sometimes we keep on dumping without noticing. And provincial politicians have been pretty direct in their suggestions that this cash should probably be spent addressing this problem. But of course it's up to the municipality to decide where its infrastructure priorities lie.

Of course, this council's track record on using infrastructure funding appropriately is not exactly stellar. What did we do with the funding announced earlier this year? Oh yeah, we put it toward snow removal. Mayor Larry has already mused that some of the money could go toward building the Strandherd Bridge (remember that bridge? The one we were supposed to get with the now-defunct LRT plan? the one we had funding for and everything?), widening Hazeldean or even new technology infrastructure (what does that mean? laptops for those fabled "paperless" council meetings?).

Ecology Ottawa is calling for a moratorium on new road construction and road widening. They'd like to see funds that go to roads put toward pedestrian, transit and cycling infrastructure. Other organizations will, I am sure, be calling for some action on our sewer problems.... problems the city says will take 600 million to solve (which makes 77.2 million a drop in the bucket, even with the Feds' promised 20 million... but we have to start somewhere, don't we?).Of course, municipal infrastructure is much more than roads and sewers. What do you think, Faithful Legion? What are your priorities for infrastructure spending?

Fairmont Park vandalism

Miss Vicky Sun Aug 24, 2008

So Miss Vicky got a note on her facebook wall today:

The play area at Fairmont Park is surrounded by police tape. One parent heard from a neighbour that someone deliberately dumped glass over through the sand last night. Have you heard anything about it?? That is pretty disturbing if it's true.

This was the first Miss Vicky had heard of it. Anyone have any additional info? You really have to wonder what it takes to drive a person to do something so horrific. Or it could be just plain stupidity.

Either way, guess we'll be steering clear of Fairmont for a while. Which is too bad; it's a kick-butt park and the folks around there have done an amazing job fixing it up, adding gardens and fun little mystery paths here and there.

Green Pedal opens Saturday

Miss Vicky Tue Aug 19, 2008

The debate on the issue of e-scooters on bike paths aside, anyone curious to check these vehicles out might want to stop by Green Pedal's grand opening this Saturday. Here's the note Miss Vicky got today:

Heya Vicky,

This is Barbara from Green Pedal e-Scooters at 1105 Welington. We have gotten over our break in losses, received new inventory, and we are ready to officially open. Phew!!!

Our hours will be Tuesday-Saturday 11am-6pm, Sundays noon to 5pm, closed Mondays. We will be having our Grand Opening this Saturday, August 23rd. Hope you can stop by!


For Rich Folk only?

Miss Vicky Mon Aug 18, 2008

Miss Vicky had intended to spend Sunday at the Folk Festival. With such fantastic weather, who wouldn't want to take the family to Britannia for a day of great music? Unfortunately, all of Miss Vicky's good intentions went out the window when she looked into the price of a day pass. $49, which would have meant spending almost $100 for tickets alone, never mind the cost of food and beverages. Sure, G's admission would be free, but it just seemed prohibitively expensive for us. Perhaps it's our new-found single income austerity, but it just didn't seem worth it, especially when we considered that we wouldn't be able to head out until after naptime and would have headed back in time for a decent Wee G bedtime (and likely missing the Headliner in the process). We opted for a (free) afternoon at Mooney's Bay and home-made burgers back at the Finishing School.

Did any other families find themselves in the same bind?

Meze in the 'hood

Miss Vicky Sat Aug 16, 2008

Aroma Meze, a restaurant offering wine and small plates of Greek cuisine, is opening up in the former location of the Hair Destination (Ross and Wellington West, beside Saslove's). We found this out while we were tromping around the neighbourhood looking for hidden Andrew King paintings.

odds and ends

Miss Vicky Sat Aug 16, 2008

OK, here are a few tidbits now that the weekend is here....

It's Movie Night in Hintonburg - Kids can watch Enchanted in the Hintonburg community centre at 6:30pm, and The Great Debaters is showing outside at 8:30. Movies are free; snacks will be available for purchase!

A few things moving on the mainstreet... noticed the Khatoon Persian Restaurant on Wellington has a cute little patio. Nearby the Afro-Caribbean grocery (Kisanola? Is that the name?) that's tucked in beside Bonkers has started promoting itself a little more. We haven't been in to check the food, but we're hoping we can find some good jerk sauce there.

Local sustainable planners/designers Vert Design are working on the former Money Mart, which we hear is going to be some kind of knitting-oriented store (Miss Vicky also heard something about workshops and Waldorf toys.... anyone have more details?). Heavens to Betsy is making tremendous progress and will be opening their expanded store next to Cyclelogik in a couple of weeks.

Oh, and if you haven't had a chance to ckeck out the Cube's latest show, which features some of the best artists that westish Ottawa has to offer, then try to stop by this weekend. The show ends on Sunday. Next show is called the Futurists and is featuring another fun treasure hunt by Andrew King. Whee!

Feline advice

Miss Vicky Thu Aug 14, 2008

Hat-tip to zoom over at knitnut, who is overcoming her blogging ennui (does it happen to all of us in the summer?) by handing the keyboard over to her cat, Duncan. The first "Dear Duncan" letter cracks me up.

Phone fraud alert

Miss Vicky Tue Aug 12, 2008

So Miss Vicky has had some interesting phone calls over the last few days. They started on Sunday, while she was in San Diego. So the Webgeek got the first one. They asked for "Juanita". He told them they had a wrong number and they said "Juanita Smallman". He asked if they meant Victoria and they said yes, and jumped into a spiel about winning a trip to Florida. He was told Miss Vicky had registered on a website (something she does not normally do) and when he asked for a phone number they said they would call back.

They called back the next day - a different person, who kept asking if he was Miss Vicky's husband. As soon as he said "Sure, let's call me her 'husband'", they continued. The Webgeek asked for the company name but they just kept going on with the script. He insisted that he wanted to wait and confirm with Miss Vicky that she'd actually done this; they rattled off some date and time that she had apparently registered. He asked for the name of the website and was told the information was not readily available and they didn't want to give him "false information" (what, like there's a trip to Florida? Or Miss Vicky had voluntarily handed over her personal info to these bozos?). He insisted he wanted to wait, and they said they weren't going to ask for any confidential information, they were just confirming information Miss Vicky had given them in the registration. They said the birthday they had for her was July 28, 1960 (three strikes there). The Webgeek said "nope" and hung up.

This afternoon Miss Vicky was home recovering from her harrowing trip to San Diego when the phone rang. It was "Charlene" calling about her trip to Florida. Holy crap. Talk about aggressive. She went right into her lines about registering on the site and needing to confirm the information I'd given her. I said I didn't recall registering for anything; what was the company name? "Universal." "What, Universal Studios?" "No, just Universal". Um, yeah. OK. I asked for the website URL. Not available. "You registered on July 31, 2008". Oh really? When I was in the Eastern Townships without internet access? "Charlene" wouldn't accept my statement that I had not registered for the site and tried to press me for her birthdate, which she gave as April 20, 1960 (again, three strikes). I continued to try and get information, asked to speak to a supervisor, asked for the company's address, the website URL, the phone number. "Charlene" demonstrated a stunning ability to dismiss the requests and belligerently demand my birthdate. "What do you want with that info", "Charlene" asked? "I'm going to call the RCMP Phone Fraud line". "You registered on the site; all I need is to confirm that your birthdate is April 20, 1960." And on it continued, until "Charlene" finally gave up and ended the call.

*69 gave up the phone number, from Brunswick, Georgia. A reverse phone lookup yielded a name and address. A google search on the number and the company name showed that Miss Vicky is not the only person receiving these bogus calls... and some folks were not so reluctant to give over personal info on the phone.

So here's where you go if you get a call from a scam artist like this: the RCMP's Phonebusters program. Or you can file a complaint online here


Temprorary single dad-dom

The Webgeek Thu Aug 7, 2008

So Miss Vicky is off to San Diego for a professional conference, leaving Wee G and myself to fend for ourselves till Tuesday. While I have a grocery list, meal plan, and a fairly detailed laundry schedule from my California bound partner, I still expect a fair bit of burping, scratching, straight-from-the-carton (soy)milk drinking, and other stubby y chromosome related behaviour to occur over the next few days. It should be fun.

I'll try not to let it get so bad that Wee G suddenly sprouts donkey ears and a tail though.

CBC Blogging shout-out

Miss Vicky Wed Aug 6, 2008

Apparently Bob from flacklife and Andrea from the the fishbowl were on Ottawa morning talking about the art of blogging. Miss Vicky had the radio on but is a tad embarrassed to admit that she was dozing through the piece. But her brain incorporated the audio into a dream about a panel on blogging at some outdoor festival thingy, at which Miss Vicky was frustrated at a) not being asked to speak (I know, I know, ego... but it was my dream, k?) and b) not being able to ask a question about how to get out of a blogging rut (kinda like the one she is in right now, she guesses). At any rate, one of the bloggers - was it you, Andrea? - gave the Offhand Remarks a shout-out, for which Miss Vicky is very grateful. Now if only she could get out of this rut.... (it'll happen, Faithful Legion - summer and a scattered mind are just interfering with the blogging mojo right now. Wait until council gets going again... )

Maybe she should just ask the question to her fellow bloggers here.... how do you get out of a blogging rut? if you've had one, that is...

edited to add: you can find the interview up on the Ottawa Morning archives page

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