Friday, September 30, 2016

Bylaw Bites

My wife and I can both remember teachers giving our classes detention, or depriving us of favorite activities, because some other student misbehaved, or caused trouble.

Even back then, I knew it was grossly unfair to punish good students for the acts of a bad student!

It showed a complete lack of ingenuity on the part of the teacher, and a lack of moral fortitude to do the right thing, namely, tackle the real problem, the misbehaving student.

It infuriated me then, and it infuriates me now, to see the city of Montreal punish all dog owners for the ignorance of a stupid few.

I agree there is no such thing as a bad dog; only bad dog owners.

It’s disappointing, and embarrassing as a Montrealer, to see such a great and cool city resort to a pit bull ban, and all that entails.

Far less progressive cities are repealing similar bans.

Photo: Wikimedia
Stupid dog owners are the problem, but the city lacks the moral fortitude, although it may argue it lacks the resources, to target moronic owners themselves.

We had a couple down the street who would let their pit bull run free. We would have to check carefully to see if the pit bull was outside as we walked our dogs by the front of their house.

We had exchanged unpleasant words with them, demanding they put their dog on a leash, as required by un-enforced laws.

Around the block from us, another guy still lets his Rottweiler run free. With him, we’ve exchanged harsh glares, and it’s just a matter of time before angry words go back and forth.

Our leashed animals have been charged by dogs that have been off-leash before.

I’ve gone to the police who, while confirming local laws require dogs on leashes at all times, apparently, don’t believe in prevention. They told me to call them when we see the dogs running free.

Great. By the time we place the call, provided the animal hasn’t attacked our dogs, the pit bull will probably be inside. Why not oblige the owners to restrain their dogs before there's a problem, and fine them when complaints are made.

Our society is twisted, with the rights of the guilty given far more protection than the rights of innocent victims. Responsible people who obey the laws get laughed at by people who ignore them.

I’m certain there are sweet Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, Dobermans and Huskies. I’m certain some of those sweet dogs are being euthanized because of the new bylaw.

The pit bull owners near us have moved out. That’s one less worry while walking our dogs.

We don’t go to the local dog park because stupid owners go there with their bad dogs, even though the rules on the door clearly state if your dog is aggressive, keep them out.

Those ignorant owners enjoy having animals that intimidate others - it makes them feel bigger. There's no doubt stupid owners can turn good breeds into bad dogs.

The city should make this right. Scrap the bylaw, then go after owners who mistreat their animals and train them to be vicious.

The stupid owners don’t have a care in the world, oblivious to what is reasonable and, in the case of this disgraceful pit bull ban, I think Mayor Coderre is, too.

Friday, September 2, 2016


Susan’s generous Uncle Barry gave us the money to buy a washer and dryer when we got married. Before we got those appliances, I would do the laundromat thing. 

I really didn’t mind it. It gave me time to think, although not hard enough, it turns out.

Here's what a laundromat dryer looks like
Our washer and dryer, the same ones we got when we were married, are currently indisposed. It had been a while since I’d been back to the local laundromat and apparently, since then, I’ve forgotten everything I had learned.

I emptied a dark load into one washing machine and a white load into another. I had brought loonies, twoonies and detergent. 

All good. I got this.

Both machines were whirring away!

Several minutes later, the first washing machine stopped, so I opened up the dryer beside it, confidently loaded in the wet clothes, selected “hot”, put change in the slots, and pressed “start”.

All good. Right on!

The second washing machine stopped, so I did the same thing and sat back. Snap! Look at Joe Cool (aka Joe Laundromat), with my headphones on my ears, listening to music.

All good. Then bad.

Why in tarnation was water splashing around in the window of the dryer?

Stunned and puzzled, I jumped to my feet and rushed over to the machines.

The machines I thought were dryers turned out to be slightly larger washing machines.

I was washing our washed laundry a second time! Uh, minus detergent.

After gritting my teeth, stomping my feet and pulling my hair (internally), I calmly walked over to where the attendant was folding clothes, confessed my mistake and asked if I could stop the machines. She told me, with a face as smirkless as she could muster, the machines lock until the wash is complete. She also explained turning off the electricity would stop all the other machines in the laundromat. No can do.

FYI - these are all washing machines
Resigned, I searched out extremely calming tunes on my ipod, and waited.

I went back to the attendant to ask for more change, because by then, my coin baggie was dry.

For reference, machines that are bigger than washing machines aren’t necessarily dryers. The machines I thought were for dry cleaning, because way back when, larger machines at the laundromat were for dry cleaning, may well be dryers.

In case you find yourself in a laundromat, I hope that helps.

Here I thought I was being brilliantly efficient. At one time, I remember being brilliantly efficient in the laundromat! The convenience of household appliances has clearly knocked me off my game.

I told my wife what I'd done, which is nearly always a mistake! She told two people, who told two people…

For those of you who haven't heard yet, I thought I'd beat her to the punch.

Live and learn.

Doubt me if you must, but up until a few days ago, my laundromat proficiency record had been spotless.