Friday, June 18, 2010

A Story of Transit: 48 Hours

... many miles over a short time, with lots of good conversations!

I always find it amazing that when you go in simple faith that things will just work out and relax... things just work. The past two days have been a great example...

I knew I needed to attend and present at a TALCO meeting up at the Durham Board of Education in Whitby on the Friday. This presented on opportunity to slate a workday with a colleague on Thursday, seeing as I was going to be up in the general area.

The challenge was to see how I could stitch disparate locales together and still leave my car at home so as not to deprive my 21 yr old of wheels!  Time to stitch together our wonderful, disjointed bits of public transit, call on a few good friends to collect me at end points... and then just relax and let the adventure flow...
(shot this at the Georgetown GO station at 6:45 AM, Friday morning)

Thursday morning:
(5:00 AM) 
Car from home to VIA station (Windsor) [thanks Brenden!]
VIA train
from Windsor to London
change trains, VIA train from London to Georgetown
from Georgetown to town of Acton (10:30 AM) [thanks Debbi!]

- workday in Acton -

Friday morning:

(6:30 AM) 
Car from Acton to Georgetown [thanks Walter!]
GO train
from Georgetown to Union Station, Toronto
from Union Station to Lawrence Station, Toronto
from Lawrence Station (Toronto) to town of Whitby (9:30 AM) [thanks Ruth!]

- workday in Whitby at the Durham Board of Ed -

Friday afternoon & evening:

(4:00 PM) 
Car from Whitby to McCowan LRT station in Scarborough [thanks Philip!]
LRT train
from Scarborough to Kennedy Station, Toronto
from Kennedy station to Bloor/Yonge Station, Toronto
Change subway lines, then subway from Bloor/Yonge Station down to Union Station, Toronto
VIA train
from Union Station (Toronto) to VIA Station (Windsor)
from VIA Station (Windsor) to home. (11:50 PM) [thanks Pat!]

Along the way one ride fell through, some connections were late... but in the end it all worked.
 - saw great sights from train windows;
 - had great conversations with friends as we shared rides;
 - received trustworthy and friendly directional advice from strangers;
 - swapped stories with fellow passaengers enroute....

I was technologically passed along as well - my network connections swapped along seven  different ISPs while I maintained connectivity *most* of the time (okay - there was one series of firewall issues... grumble...).  My laptop and iPad preformed as the usual road warriors I have come to trust them to be.

It was a long and busy 48 hours... but well worth the effort.

Thanks, everyone!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Best "spots" at the 2010 Enviro-Expo

2010 Enviro-Expo

I went to the 2010 Enviro-Expo which highlights some of the best new ideas and gadgets in the environment and "green" field of thought…
Many of the innovative designs come right out of our local tool & die shops as they refocus energies on more than just the automotive industry. Here are some of my favs... I expect you may see these enter the consumer market soon... indeed some are already available.

Homeowner's rooftop wind turbine
silent magnetic wind turbine

It's meant for YOUR home's rooftop, uses magnetic coils instead of traditional turbine parts... NO sound at all. ...very lightweight so moves in slightest breeze, but tough - can handle sustained winds up to 45 mph.   Watch for this  from Honeywell...

Also from Honeywell - wonderful very low power LED lights which fit all the standard incandescent bases, have warm colour ranges, can be easily dimmed, generate NO heat...

LED ribbon; lavenderLED ribbon lighting

This stuff is great! ... comes by the meter - totally flat, cycles through colours or can be remotely controlled, is very bright.... has very low power consumption. ( NOTE: no more of that heavy awkward "rope" lighting stuff!)

2000 watt solar panelsGenerate 2000 Watts with these solar panels
Each panel (6 of them here) generates 2000 watts electricity, and comes with "sell it back to Ontario Hydro" connection... pays back within 3 years, earns after that...
What's your rooftop earning for you?

even die green!You can even "die" and stay "green"
Entire casket is biodegradable... no hazardous chemical finishes, no metal parts or fasteners... just wood, wood fiber, hemp fiber.... Already available at funeral homes and they even have the embalming fluids with no hazadous chemicals as well.

recycled drink pouches
recycled drink pouches
Beach bags made of re-used foil drink pouches...
Very chic!

enviro packaging

enviro packaging

Made from simple corn, with higher protective cushioning level than styrofoam, and disolves in water within 15 minutes...

Farmers also promoting "green" business ideas....
Just don't eat it... won't hurt you... just awful to taste!

So... as Earth Day 2010 rolls around this year, what are you inventing to help the environment?