My time sense has faded with Covid and lockdowns, but I think tomorrow is TGIF day. I'll need to remember to rave about it if I meet anyone. Today was a grey day, and cool, but I did get out for a walk, which helped. And streamed/chatted with friends. I'm gradually looking at less of the Facebook, before it explodes into the Multiverse, but have noted a few tidbits throughout the day for you. Whoever you are out there. I'll try to do this daily, as a relaxing reflection for myself after supper.
Drinking less, scanning your own stuff, and dealing with food waste.
Are you sober curious? - Meaning you’ve not cut out alcohol completely, you’re just cutting back, either with fewer drinks or with non-alcoholic ones. Not just something like a Cuba Libre without the rum either, as there are alcohol-free versions of Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum and Tanqueray Gin. I’m not sure a martini without that bite of alcohol would be even close, though. There are a lot of good alcohol-free beers, many with a rich hoppy taste - I’m sipping one from Sober Carpenter as I write this. According to a Globe and Mail article, one reason for this shift may have been the recent pandemic, for health reasons. Perhaps the habit of hanging out in a crowded bar was broken. They quote that one in five Canadians are drinking less, especially younger ones.
I know I’m drinking less alcohol, because of the calories and the cost. Have your patterns changed? Have the choices in your local expanded? I haven’t seen a lot of these choices in mine, but maybe there’s just not the demand yet. Maybe it’s not in the bar’s best interest either. Even if prices/profits are the same, when people drink alcohol they soon want another and another. Then some sides of nachos. Rounds of shooters. Not so much if they’re sober.
Better zoning rules, coping skills in a stressful world, and olden play structures
De-suburbification - There’s a new convenience store on Forward, just across from my building, or rather a new owner for an old place. And newer stock, hopefully. It’s a small single-use building, next to an old wooden house, and with a high rise behind - typical of the area.
Typical of my home town too, and many across Canada. Towns built before zoning, with mixed-use and walkable neighbourhoods. We didn’t even have our first mall until ‘77 - people either went to the corner store or walked downtown.
What brought this to mind was a Daily Hive article about zoning changes in Edmonton, saying it “will lead the way in Canada”. The 1960’s bylaws that encouraged suburbs filled with rows of single-family houses have been updated to allow a mix of duplexes, rowhouses, and even low-rise apartments. Plus more small businesses, like corner stores and cafes.
It’s a welcome change that will hopefully spread to other cities. I’m guessing there was some pushback from the NIMBY crowd, but I am glad to see this move away from yet more urban sprawl. More walkability, even way up in Edmonton.
More flip flops than a beach holiday - From a Toronto Star Editorial - Another day, another policy climbdown for Doug Ford’s government
They will be cancelling their arbitrary planned changes to the municipal boundaries of Hamilton, Ottawa, Barie, Guelph and many others. This is after also cancelling the proposed release of 3,000 supposedly protected hectares of Greenbelt land around Toronto. These rollbacks are after several damning reports on his gov’t, so voters aren’t really pleased, knowing he’s only changing because he got caught. Developers aren’t pleased either, as many had invested in the new projects they thought they would start. However, they can always sue the gov’t, and we’ll pay in the end. As we get it in the end.
These latest issues will just add to Ford’s existing list of cutbacks and broken campaign promises. Will it be enough for a change in gov’t in June of 2026? Voters seem to have short memories, and once the headlines have gone most lose interest in politics.
Note - I’ve always been aware of a variety of both newsworthy and quirky subjects passing by every day, and now I may have found a nice spot to share them. I note them in passing, then spend a couple of hours collating and composing. Thanks for the comments so far.
Grocery store profits - From CBC, Canada's top grocers post above-average profits with little transparency, study says.
Their margins are still around 3-4 %, but consumer prices for groceries went up 11.5 % this September, compared to the year before. They claim increased costs, but we can’t get any real details, as they don’t want their competitors to know. And they lack transparency as to where their real profits are, since bundled in with groceries are things like drugstores, clothing, booze, garden centres, and makeup.
A few weeks ago the heads of the major chains were called to Ottawa and told to come up with plans to stabilize prices by Thanksgiving. There's not much yet from them- maybe they thought he meant the American Thanksgiving. They did talk of price freezes on some items until after Christmas, discounts, and price-matching campaigns. All of which they do already, so they are being called back. We now want their plans by November 2. We request, not demand the plans, as we can hint at regulations but there are a lot of powerful businesses there, a lot of lobbyists and campaign backers. It’s just politics.
Just buy more lentils and beans, They’re a cheap protein, and they can help heat the house.