This is where I get to rant and roar, let off some steam, and vent on life, society, and global issues.  Maybe you'll agree with some of my points, maybe you'll disagree.  In either case, here's my blog on life.

April 19/06 - Oil Crisis and a need for a catastrophe?

As oil prices soar out of control, we find ourselves complaining about it all of the time.  Some people think there is a conspiracy around it, and that the government is dictating the prices.  Others think that the oil companies are the ones with the red hand.  Meanwhile, there is room for the common person to do something to reduce the frustration at the pump.  It's plain and simple, and while not the most attractive way to do it, the basic step forward is to go economic.  Buy a smaller car that's more fuel efficient.  Do we really need a Hummer to go down the street and get groceries, do we need an Escalade to commute to work....NOPE.  People need to get off this SUV kick.  They've proven to have sub-standard safety ratings, and drink gasoline like its going out of style.  Mind you, some people (and/or families) require bigger vehicles, if they need to carry several people or products around, and thus, I guess an SUV or a minivan (depending on the case) would be suitable.  Hummers though...the only purpose they serve is to look cool, because lets face it, how many of us actually go off road on them?

Despite the well known fact that SUV's suck down the fuel, people are still buying them.  Which brings me to the subject of this posting.  Do we need some sort of catastrophe to happen in order for people to learn a lesson about the ongoing oil crisis.  The problem doesn't appear to be going away.  The Middle East is nowhere close to being a tolerable, civilized area yet, and until every suicide bomber blows himself up, there will still be grief over there, and a unstable outlook on the future of oil.  What do I mean by catastrophe?  Lets take 9/11 for example.  9/11 was a huge wakeup call for the Americans.  Though that day was horrible, tragic and devastating, it did serve as a great lesson to be learned.  It taught, not only the Americans, but the citizens of the world, that we cannot take our freedoms for granted.  We now have to watch our own backs, undergo tedious security checks, and
tolerate a governing eye to our daily activities.  This is what's required to ensure our safety.  This is what's required in order for us to continue on with our daily lives.  So what is required to bring about change in the way we live our lives concerning oil consumption?  Perhaps we need a major catastrophe in the oil industry to open peoples eyes and see beyond the price at the pumps.  By no means am I endorsing anything tragic, but what if the world had to do without oil for a week, a month...a year?  Lets say that due to terrorist attacks on our oil deposits, the production and storage of oil became so depleted that the world would temporarily run out of oil for a brief period of time.  That in itself is an outrageous long shot, but then again, maybe not.  However, if such a catastrophe took place, maybe car companies would open eyes and say "We have a serious problem here, we need to try to help remedy this problem by producing more fuel efficient vehicles and put a stop the SUV production."  Perhaps the common person who is finding oil hard on the wallet would say "I can't handle this anymore, I need a more fuel efficient car...or better yet, use public transportation, or even a bike."  The fact is, there are more vehicles on the road today than ever before, and we can't keep on escalating this rate without suffering consequences.

It would be naive for me to think that everybody could just switch to alternative methods of transportation without any problems, but it is definitely something to think about.  For myself, starting this summer, I will be rollerblading to work a couple times per week, to cut down on our gas expenses.  Not only will we be saving a little money, but we will be doing our part to help out the environment, and it will be great exercise.  If this oil crisis is as serious as the experts say it is, then we need to open our eyes, seek some alternatives, promote change, and turn the page to a brighter future.

April 19/06 - Obese Kids and Technology

When I was growing up as a youth, the most fun part of the day was not sitting in front of a computer, chatting with friends on messenger, playing video games all day, or listening to mp3's while taking silly pictures with my camera phone.  No.  For me, the most fun part of the day was to be able to go outside and play.  Sounds simple, but with the whole outdoors and an active imagination, there were many things you could do to keep yourself busy, active and entertained.  Some afternoons we would play ball.  Other days we would be in our backyards building a village for our Tonka toys.  And perhaps on the weekends, we were beyond our backyards, building a small cabin in the woods.  We did everything.  We got our feet wet, our clothes dirty, and we got our share of cuts, scrapes and bruises...but all in a productive sort of way.  Of course, l am a little bias on the subject as I grew up in Clarenville, Newfoundland, where our area of play was virtually as large as the town itself.  Now I am living in Edmonton, and while kids can't exactly go behind the yards to build a cabin (behind their yard is usually someone else's yard), there are still a number of outdoor activities kids can do keep fit and have fun (sorry for the lame Bodybreak plug).  But what do we find our youth doing these days?  Chatting on MSN Messenger, playing video games, and chatting on their own personal cell phones.  Meanwhile, their bodies begin ballooning into a regrettable shapes, through little physical activity and an endless supply of junk food.  Fortunately, not every kid is grouped into this category, but the stats don't lie.  More and more of our kids our becoming obese which could lead to even worse problems down the road.  I fear that it is a hopeless battle.  As more advanced technology becomes available, the less likely our kids will want to go outdoors and just play.  Why play with ball in the park, when I can play baseball on my xbox?  Why go over to my friends house, when I can chat with them on the computer?  What it all boils down to is that advances in technology is simply making people more lazy.  And what do we get from that? - An unhealthy lifestyle, which will have repercussions down the road.  Producers of the technology, only want to make money, so they won't change, and I don't know if today's parents are strong enough to not give in to their kids constant nagging to get the latest and greatest gadget.  I will admit to owning a playstation, a computer, and cell phone (not one that plays mp3's or TV though!), but I also own hockey equipment, a ball glove, and rollerblades.  There can be a balance.  And a new attitude among today's parents and kids is needed to meet this balance.  So stop chatting, put down your controller, hang up the phone and go outside and play.  Don't forget your sunblock.  

April 19/06 - My Hate for Reality TV

I know after talking to at least some of you that you and I share the same opinion on this one.  Where do I start?  How about with me saying that I hate reality television.  And while I admit to watching some here and there, overall it is generally crap on the screen.  I can't believe people aren't sick of Survivor yet.  What are we on now...Survivor 18 or something.  Granted they go to a new location every time, but geez, they play the same dumb games in every season.  Standing on a pole, putting puzzles together, doing something stupid in the water...whatever.  Aside from the 'awesome' games they play, there are also storylines to follow with over dramatic scenes.  Yup, been on that train before...when it was called Wrestling.  Don't even get me started on the Bachelor/Bachlerette watch a group of girls/guys fight over one person they barely know and then throughout the show say how much they are in love with them....give me a break!  No wonder the divorce rate is so high...if the world is full of dummies like these people, its pretty clear why so many marriages end up in the dumpster.  You don't love someone because their famous, or have a nice car, or have lots of money, or good looking for that matter.  You love someone because you feel that you want to be with that person forever, and nobody else.  You need to shop around for the right personality, not the commodities they have.  Hmmm, I thought I wasn't going to get into the Bachelor/Bachelorette.  Grrrr.   I'm not going to go much further with this.  I think you can get the picture.  For the most part, reality shows are filled with crap, lots of edited crap, and more crap.  I'm not even in the mood to elaborate on that.  For the most part, I hate reality television and wish that good ol' sitcoms and sci-fi/dramas can rule the screens again.  The Amazing Race is alright though.